Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Subscription To American Baby Magazine

We hope that this post finds everyone well and getting ready to celebrate the season.

Moms can get a Free Subscription to American Baby Magazine. Free is always good, right? When my son was small I was a subscriber and this is a great and very popular Baby magazine.

If your baby is under 2 years old, you qualify for a Free Subscription. Just click the ad below to get it and enjoy!

American Baby Magazine

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shopping For Safe Children's Toys This Holiday Season

With the massive amounts of toy recalls this past year and the buzz about lead paint and other harmful chemicals in toys, how is a parent to know if the toys you are placing under the tree are good or bad?

It's a scary thought to think that all harmful chemicals actually aren't being regulated yet, but it's true.

As you make your way down the toy aisles to fill those children's wish lists, how can you be sure you are doing right by your children?

First, there are websites like HealthyStuff.org and GoodGuide.com that can help parents dispell the myths, find fact from fiction and make the best selections in the interest of their children.

There was a great article in the Los Angeles Times that offers some really good tips on what to avoid and steer clear of also.

Check out this article as you do your Holiday shopping to make it the safest and happiest season ever. The link to the article is below.

Before you buy that train set, do your homework

Happy Shopping and wishing you and your's all the best of the season!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lee County School District: Right On The Money???

Normally I am not one to spout off politically despite things I disagree with. Normally I find everyone entitled to their opinions on issues without feeling compelled to put in my two-cents worth. Usually, it's mums the word with me rather than stir the pot. I don't like to engage in hot spots that turn into political discussions.

But with everything, there is an exception to the rule and this is it.....

Is the School District of Lee County right on the money? Recent events have me realizing how very wrong on the money the District and our elected School Board Members really are. As a taxpayer, parent and former District employee , I find myself rip-roaring mad for lack of a better description regarding Dr. James Browder and our elected School Board Member's handling of this whole matter. What on earth were they thinking?

Last evening, the School Board gave Dr. James Browder his walking papers. According to the News-Press, he has two days to clean out his office. On the flipside, he received a payday that is nothing less than sickening considering the way this whole mess went down. According to School Board members, Mr. Steven Teuber in particular, the District is no longer interested in having a "lame duck at the helm".

Really?! Why all of a sudden is Dr. Browder a lame duck at the helm? While he has already lined up another nice job, this time as Vice-President of Operations at Edison State College, this is far from the first time Dr. Browder went job hunting. I dare say the general public has knowledge of his prior employment pursuits while acting Superintendent of our School District. As I recollect, last time he did so he received a nice pay raise and a boost of his ego when School Board Members requested he stay.

Now it appears two of our School Board members who were unseated as incumbants now have strong words for Dr. Browder. Isn't it a little too late for that? This taxpayer and parent thinks so!

Both Steven Teuber and Elinor Scricca aren't newcomers to the School Board. They were challenged and defeated by fresh faces in the last election. I hardly view that as a coincidence. I think the voting public has spoken and wanted change in the business as usual when it comes to the Lee County School Board.
Both Teuber and Scricca helped approve the last pay raise Dr. Browder received. It's ironic how someone now changes their tune a bit when they know their time on the Board is coming to a close.

I recall reading a Letter To The Editor in some local newspapers wherein Mr. Teuber thanked the voters of Lee County for his time of service, citing that he loved our school system, it's teachers and the children it serves. It was a gracious letter in the aftermath of the election which unseated him. Why am I not feeling the love when it comes to the whole Dr. Browder thing?

At the last School Board meeting, the News-Press quotes Mr. Teuber as saying: "You talk about lame-duck presidency or lame-duck tenure, Dr. Browder is already looking at something else."

Boo on you Mr. Teuber, because not only was Dr. Browder already "looking" at something else but had accepted another position while still acting Superintendent of the School District of Lee County.

His counterpart, Elinor Scricca was quoted by the News-Press as saying: "Our nerves were tested this evening. Some of us failed. Some of us succeeded."

Boo on you also Mrs. Scricca. Maybe these events or your failure to get re-elected means you didn't succeed. The teachers and students of this District were served up a huge injustice in today's economic climate for sure so they didn't succeed or prevail.

But appearances would have it Dr. Browder surely succeeded. Last evening, NBC-News cited Dr. Browder's severance package at upwards of $342,000. The News-Press puts it at $335.630. Either figure in play, in today's economy with our School District constantly experiencing budget cuts, I hardly consider that a success for our students, teachers or the best interests of the District. It's great for Dr. Browder though.

The News-Press conducted a vote on their website today asking if readers agreed with the severance package Dr. Browder received. As of this writing, 80.34% state "No, way too much for Browder" with only 16.05% saying "Good for Browder, he deserves it". I find the latter result actually high but perhaps there are actually people who think paying out Dr. Browder's contract is good despite the fact he probably breached it. Or maybe Mr. Teuber and Mrs. Scricca are casting votes in the poll? The cold hard fact in this strong disagreement with this severance package for Dr. Browder indictates to me exactly how two incumbants with years of service to the School Board could be defeated in the last election. That's the part that makes the most sense in all of this mess.


If Steven Teuber or Elinor Scricca are now crying sour grapes about the election or Dr. Browder, I suggest that they vent that frustration no further than themselves as they helped create the situation during their time of service. The finger of blame isn't solely at Dr. Browder here in my eyes.

While I may not be qualified to render a legal opinion here, all signs point to the fact that Dr. Browder again went job hunting without complying with the terms of his contract as Superintendent. Was he penalized for this? Apparently not as it seems he got rewarded with a really nice severance package during a time when our school system could find a million good and more deserving things to do with the nice six-figure chunk of change Browder pocketed.

What's even sweeter for Dr. Browder is that it appears his walking papers include what looks like double-dipping, still being paid for the contract he had with Lee County School District while in the employ of another educational institution that is willing to pay him big bucks. According to my research, $160,000 a year to be exact.

Dr. James Browder reminds me of a true politician though and gosh knows I don't think our community, county or country needs any more of those at this time. Shame on him.

His parting words to the School District: "It was never my intent to hurt this district, and I want y’all to understand that I really do care about it," Browder said. "Somebody said something about being God, and I’m not. I’m just a pretty average guy who tried to do his best." Browder choked up Wednesday during his final public address. "I’ve been honored to serve this community and public schools for about 36 years, and it will be the highlight of my life," he said. "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jim Browder, and I am proud to have worked in this district."

Boo to you Dr. Browder on many fronts! We teach our children to do their best, to be honest in all their dealings and to strive for excellence. Our School District gives students awards for things like "Do The Right Thing" to encourage behavior that is positive, honest and of integrity.

In his 36 years of service to Lee County Schools, surely Dr. Browder knows the present economic conditions in Lee County. Homes are being foreclosed on at record numbers and being sold for pennies on the dollar. Our property values have plummeted to all-time lows, not only affecting the individuals who own them but impacting the tax base from which the School District derives it's operating budget. As Superintendent, that should be totally clear to him. Our area boasts record high unemployment statistics, yet Dr. James Browder should be entitled to an incredibly generous severance pay despite allegations he may have breached his contract?

There should be no doubt in Steven Teuber's or Elinor Scricca's mind why they were unseated as incumbants. In my humble opinion, they deserved it. This should also be a message sent loud and clear to the rest of our School Board members who will be up for re-election sometime soon.

Just as we encourage our students in the District to "Do The Right Thing", so should we hold Dr. James Browder accountable to the terms of his contract in my opinion. While his parting words were touching, the bottom line is if he REALLY cared about our School District, he would forego the sweet severance pay and "Do The Right Thing" also.

Since Edison State College is paying him $160,000 or so a year, I would dare say that's a very nice living compared with his neighbors here in Lee County, many of whom are jobless or losing their homes during these times. For most people living in Lee County, receiving a pay-day of $300,000-something thousand would be the highlight of their lives as well so words are cheap.

I urge Dr. Browder to "Do The Right Thing" and refuse that severance package. Let's take that $300,000-something and use it for the welfare of the teachers and students that the District serves. How many books, school supplies, school lunches and more could that buy?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

11 Rules Your Kids Did Not and Will Not Learn In School

It has been said that Bill Gates once delivered this during a speech to high schoolers. I have also read it was taken from a book called "Dumbing Down Our Kids" by Charles Sykes. Either way, it's great wisdom for our younger generation and a great reminder to all of us that there is work involved in life, happiness and success. Enjoy!

RULE 1: Life is not fair - get used to it.

RULE 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with car phone, until you earn both.

RULE 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

RULE 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it Opportunity.

RULE 6: If you mess up,it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Free Book For Your Child With Borders Summer Reading Program

What a great way to encourage Summer reading with your children and they will get a Free Book by just reading 10!

Check out the Borders Double-Dog Dare Summer Reading Program. It's free for children 12 and under to participate and it has already begun. The program dates for 2010 are May 4-August 26. Participation is simple and a great way to motivate the kids to read more this Summer.


All your child has to do to qualify for their Free Book is:

Read 10 books and list them on the form from Borders which you can download above.

Take that completed form to any Borders store and redeem it for their Free Book before August 26, 2010.

Here's to fun and reading this Summer and hope your children enjoy their Free Book!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Manly Art Of Baby Care - Just In Time For Father's Day

Just in time for Father's Day, the CityMommy blog featured a great post about "The Manly Art Of Baby Care" by Blythe Lipman of Baby Instructions.

Here's what she says:

There is nothing sweeter than seeing a new Dad and his baby. In this day and age, fathers play a much more active role with their babies than ever before. Years ago the husband took his laboring wife to the hospital and she was whisked away to deliver their baby while he was left pacing in the waiting room until the nurse came to tell him he had a new boy or girl! Not so today…men become involved in the birthing process the minute the little blue line says Pregnant! These days extended families are few and far between. Grandma doesn’t live around the block anymore to help or give advice. Most new parents are left on their own.But what could be better than being an actively involved new Dad! Doing everything from diapering, feeding, bathing, and their favorite thing, playing!

Sometimes new Dads are a little awkward and scared at first. After all, they have never done this before. Their new little bundle is so tiny and they are so big. With a little help from mom and a few how-to tips….Dad will be a Pro before he knows it!

The following tips will help any new Dad learn the ropes of baby care.

•Don’t be afraid to hold your tiny baby. Pretend you are gently cradling a football. Those big, strong but gentle hands make baby feel secure.

•There is nothing more comforting than the sound of the beating heart. So hold your baby close to your heart.

•During diaper changing, if your baby is four months or older, give him something to hold. Those little hands are quicker than you think and you don’t want him grabbing things down south.

•Remember to keep the baby’s diaper area covered when you are changing him. And keep your face at a distance. The law of gravity and a little boy’s aim will have you sprinkled in an instant!

•If you are going to give baby a bath, make sure to have everything you need before you place him in the water. Make a check-list for yourself; washcloth, towel, shampoo, diaper, clothes, and anything else you might need. And NEVER, EVER LEAVE THE BABY UNATTENDED. If the phone or doorbell rings, forget about it until you are finished bathing the baby. Nothing is more important than your baby’s safety.

•Don’t be appalled if your baby urinates in the bath. This is very normal as warm water is the perfect catalyst for total relaxation. Kind of like being back in the womb.

•If you are going to use powder, shake it in your hand then gently rub it on the baby. Never shake powder or anything else directly on the baby.

•If you’re not sure what to do in a situation with your baby, (feeding, burping, etc.), don’t be afraid to ask. Babies don’t come with instructions.

•When you’re out with your guy friends, ask them about their experiences with their babies. You don’t have to hug or call it a men’s group…just a guy’s night out. And they may share some tips you never thought of.

•Don’t be afraid to take your baby on an outing. Babies are very portable. It’s great stimulation and think of all the attention you’ll get!

•If you have to do errands with the baby, don’t plan too many stops. Things always seem to take longer when there is a baby involved.

•Don’t forget to take the baby bag when you go out. Packed with a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, burp cloths, toys and an extra shirt for you, just in case!

•If you are on a tight schedule, make sure to leave some wiggle room for an unexpected diaper change or extra feeding.

•If you are on carpool duty and your baby is sick, please don’t take him to school. Tylenol wears off in four hours and you will get that dreaded phone call to come and get him. Save yourself the aggravation and the fight with your wife. Keep him home. Meetings can always be re-scheduled.

•If your baby is having a cranky day and you are too, ask to be relieved from baby duty. If you can’t find someone to help, put him in the stroller or pack, go outside and take some deep breaths until you feel better. There is nothing wrong with taking a break.

•If a medical issue arises, calmly call the pediatrician. Babies are sturdier than you think.

•Don’t be afraid to act silly. Sing songs, dance, play games. The sillier the better. Your baby will love it and so will you!

•Please take good care of yourself. Being a healthy Daddy is the greatest gift you can give your family.And most of all, be proud of your new role as a Dad. Marvel at this wonderful miracle you’ve created and take the time to enjoy each minute. Babies grow up fast and before you know it, the bus will be pulling up to take your “baby” to Kindergarten.

Happy Father’s Day!

You can read the post at the CityMommy blog HERE.

For CityMommies, the CityMommy blog is a great place to tune in for advice, reviews of great new products and yes, even GIVEAWAYS!

Are you a CityMommy yet? Are you a Southwest Florida Mom? We cover from Bradenton south along the Gulf coast all the way to Everglades City! Plus, many inland southern central communities like Sebring, Avon Park, Clewiston, Moore Haven and more.

CityMommy is a great social network where the coolest, hippest Mommies meet online for fun and friendship. You will love our great community and we are growing here in Southwest Florida. Come join the fun!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Super Parent Trap

Parenting and perfection sometimes seem like polar opposites, especially on those frustrating days. As a multi-tasking Mom, it's oh-so-easy to be ultra hard on yourself. I often find myself summarizing my day thinking of the things I should have done, didn't get done etc. which can be self-defeating and it's a habit I am working to break.

This was a great short read online that sums up how you can break the cycle of The Super Parent Trap. I wanted to pass it along:

Perfection and parenting don't mix. But that doesn't keep us parents from worrying all the time about what we've done wrong. The reality, though, is that children are very forgiving and actually learn a lot from seeing their moms and dads make mistakes. So, let's examine why we fall so often into the SuperParenting trap.

1. We worry about others judging us. Somehow we think other families have it all figured out. Nothing can be further from the truth. Once you admit you are concerned say, about your child's aggression, most parents will not only be sympathetic, but they'll dive in with their own examples.

2. We over-schedule ourselves. There are only 24 hours in a day, but sometimes families try to pack in too much. Our kids need to learn that it is better to go slowly and value the experience than to rush from one thing to the next.

3. We think more is better. Children pick up on this message early on. Try to avoid comparing your family with others in terms of material goods. Instead, teach your children to be grateful for what they already have.

4. We don't like to admit our mistakes. If we don't communicate that it's okay to mess up, how do we expect our kids to get the message that they don't have to be perfect? If we really want them to explore and try new things, we need to show them that no one is good at everything.
It is because we are so passionate about our children that we get caught up in this concept of SuperParenting. We need to keep our expectations reasonable, show love and respect, and start fresh each day. In fact, we are actually doing our kids a favor when we point out that in real families, things hardly ever go perfectly.

Maureen O’Brien, PhD is a developmental psychologist, parenting coach and mother of twins. She founded www.destinationparenting.com and is the author of Watch Me Grow: I’m One-Two-Three (available here: Watch Me Grow: I'm One-Two-Three: A Parent's Essential Guide to the Extraordinary Toddler to Preschool Years).

See it online here:http://galtime.com/index.php/web/1024-superparent

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cool Website For New & Expecting Mommies

This is a cool website I wish was around when my little man was a baby. Check it out! It's called Babies Online.

It is Free to register and set up an account.

This site has a bunch of features including:

You can build a webpage for your children or one on the way.
Free Baby Stuff & Special Offers.
Photo Albums.
Email updates to family and friends.

What a neat way to share about your little bundle of joy! I don't know exactly how it all works but free to start is good right? It sounds pretty cool and I wanted to pass it along to all new and expectant Moms.



Monday, January 11, 2010

CityMommy of Southwest Florida Is Growing!

Our social network, CityMommy of Southwest Florida is growing! It's where the coolest, hippest Moms are meeting for fun, friendship, networking and yes, even business!

Our network is growing and has expanded north to encompass all of Southwest Florida south of the Tampa Bay area. We now are in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

When you register as a user at our site, you will be able to pick your specific location (neighborhood) and that will further connect you with other Moms in your area.

Exciting things are happening at City Mommy of Southwest Florida and our new website, Southwest Florida Mommy. You can visit the website at http://www.southwestfloridamommy.com which will continue to grow and build as a resource to Southwest Florida Moms.

We would love to have you participate in our great network as a Mom or Business Owner to connect everyone in the family friendly Southwest Florida community!