For 31 years, Bessie, a big green dinosaur, has sat on the front lawn of the Discovery Museums where she's greeted hundreds of kids and families since 1982. Help celebrate her birthday in style with a weekend of ongoing activities for the whole family. The party starts on Saturday, with an outdoor dinosaur dig, face painting, a dinosaur egg hunt, crafting birthday hats and noise makers, and more. You can color Bessie in birthday decorations with chalk and then give her a bath with soap bubbles and sponges. The Justin Meyers Swing Trio will be on hand to keep your toes tapping, and the Blue Hills Trailside Museum will bring local animals and provide hands-on learning about nature, wildlife and conservation. The bash continues on Sunday with continued activities from the day before, such as the dinosaur dig and Bessie's bath. At noon, Tom Foote and Greg Nikitas will perform a rhythm kids family concert, where you can make music together with plenty of drums and other instruments. Use your own bodies to sing along, clap, and stomp to the beat. The weekend celebration wraps up with a chance to make some birthday noise for Bessie and learn about the science of sound. Happy 31st, Bessie! Sat., June 29 & Sun., June 30, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free with museum admission: $11; seniors, $10; age one and under, free. Check website for full schedule of each day's events, as not all are ongoing, and drop in any time. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. www.discoverymuseums.org
JD Bailey from Honest Mom is our #FeaturedParentBlogger this week on Boston.com Moms. That means she'll be spending the week with us, sharing information about the mom behind the blog (and the blog too!).
Here's how it works:
JD will post in our Moms forums each day this week. We'll add links and bits of information to this post as she does.
Today she posted an introduction.
A snippet from JD's introduction:
I am proud to be an outspoken advocate for moms who deal with depression. I was interviewed by Katie Couric on her show about the topic in March and was featured in a March 2013 Parenting Magazine article about parents and depression.
On Tuesday, she'll post 20 facts about herself and her blog.
A few of her facts:
- Because I am a gardener, I almost always have dirt under my fingernails and my knees seem to be permanently dirty. No matter what I do. It’s a bit embarrassing. - The first live concert I went to was New Kids on the Block. Not REM. Even though I tell everyone it was REM.
Wednesday she'll share her favorite post. Thursday she'll take questions from readers. And on Friday she'll share the blogs she likes to read.
Join us all week long and feel free to stop by our forums and say "hi" to JD or ask her a question. We'll link out to all her posts here in Parent Buzz. And feel free to nominate a local parenting blogger (or yourself) right here.
Don't forget to keep checking back this week as we chat with JD!
And you can catch up with our past Featured Parent Bloggers right here.
Dads, do you ever wish you could feel your baby kick?
Huggies has developed a pregnancy belt so dads can do just that. The belt replicates the baby's movements and kicks in real time.
How does it work? The dad and mom each wear a pregnancy band, full of sensors, so when the baby kicks the movement is transmitted to the father thanks to the fancy technology.
Check out the reaction of dads in the NewsFix video above as they feel their babies kick.
Don't get too excited, though. Boston dads won't be getting pregnancy belts as gifts this Father's Day. The belt was designed for an ad campaign in Argentina and Huggies says it isn't going to market the belt further, according the video.
Read more in this ABC News report.
If guys really want to feel what it's like to be pregnant, there is always the labor pain simulator. Check out this WPIX video to see men "in labor."
Dads, would you like to try to pregnancy belt? How about the labor pain simulator?
Join local author Ammi-Joan Paquette at Porter Square Books for the launch of her new novel for readers ages 12 and up. "Paradox" tells the story of Ana, who wakes up in a rocket on an alien planet with no idea who she is, or where, or why. The letter in her pocket gives her one simple message: “Experience. Discover. Survive.” The timer on her wrist is counting down to zero. And the earth-shaking rumble in the distance sends the clear message: Something is coming. If you like your science fiction fast-paced and your main character conflicted, get ready for a plot-twisting, mind-bending read. The author will read from her novel, answer questions, and be available to sign copies. Tues., July 2, 7 p.m. Free. Ages 12 and up. Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Cambridge. www.portersquarebooks.com
Kraft has launched a "Let's Get Zesty" campaign, complete with a scantily clad male model showcasing its salad dressing in commercials and print ads.
It's this print ad of the model on a picnic blanket that has caused the group One Million Moms, an organization that seeks to "give moms an impact with the decision-makers and let them know we are upset with the messages they are sending our children," to say "Shame on Kraft."
Check out the ad in this tweet by The Zesty Guy himself.
And here's part of the One Million Moms response to the ad.
Last week's issue of People Magazine had the most disgusting ad on the inside front cover that we have ever seen Kraft produce. A full 2-page ad features a n*ked man lying on a picnic blanket with only a small portion of the blanket barely covering his g*nitals. It is easy to see what the ad is really selling.FULL ENTRY
Now that school is winding down, many of us parents will be looking for new ways to get our kids moving this summer. Perhaps bowling is, er, up your alley? Part of a nationwide program, local alleys participate in the "Kids Bowl Free" program during the summer months. For children 15 and under, registration gets kids a pass to bowl two free games each day for as long as the program runs. With participating sites in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, you're sure to find something nearby. A neat add-on -- parents can buy a family pass for just under $25, which allows mom, dad and other caregivers the same two-games-a-day deal (but even if you don't get the family pass, the kids can still get their free games). Use the deal for family outings, rainy days, and those days when it's too hot to move. Visit the website for further details and to find an alley near you. Daily, through August 30. Free. Ages 15 and under. www.kidsbowlfree.com
Doctors in Kansas used surgical "super glue" during life-saving brain surgery on a 3-week-old baby girl named Ashlyn Julian, who was suffering from an aneurysm.
Kansas doctors are calling the delicate procedure on Ashlyn’s tiny brain bleeds a “once-in-a-career case,” reports NBC. The surgical adhesive, which is similar to the super glue found at stores, is often used during brain surgery on adults but rarely on infants so young.
It all took place at The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City. Read more about the pressure doctors faced to move quickly with the glue (they had less than 10 seconds!) in the NBC News report.
What do you think of the procedure?
According to an Associated Press-WE tv poll, 23 percent of men would consider having a relationship with a pregnant woman.
You can watch it all happen Friday nights when WE tv brings you the show "Pregnant & Dating". The show premiered May 31.
The show -- you guessed it -- follows pregnant women on dates. Some of the men know about the pregnancies, but most do not, so the audience gets to see that "awkward deer-in-the-camera-lights moment" when he finds out, as the Associated Press puts it.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Another season of the popular Free Fun Fridays begins this month at venues in the Boston area. Every Friday throughout the summer a number of museums, performances, and attractions are free of charge, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation. Yes, that's right. FREE. The first Friday's features are the Freedom Trail Foundation, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), the Stone Zoo, the Heritage Museums & Gardens, the Worcester Art Museum, and Tanglewood. Though admission is free, normal parking rates will still apply, and some free hours vary by vendor. Please visit each venue's website for information. Also note that some ticket quantities are limited and available on a first-come basis, and, in some cases, pre-registration is required. Friday, June 28. Free. All ages. Locations vary. www.highlandstreet.org
Are only children lonely and selfish?
Not according to Lauren Sandler, an only child and mother of one. She discusses the topic in the New York Times opinion piece "Only Children: Lonely and Selfish?".
Sandler writes that our culture paints children without siblings as loners, misfits, and selfish.
"If a child doesn’t have siblings, it’s generally assumed that there’s a hush-hush reason for it: we don’t like being parents (because we are selfish), we care more about our status — work, money, materialism — than our child (because we are selfish), or we waited too long (because we are selfish). When have you heard someone say an only child is better off?" Sandler writes.FULL ENTRY
Dr. Jyoti Ramakrishna is the chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. Prior to that, she was an associate pediatrician in gastroenterology, nutrition, and global health at Mass General Hospital for Children, where she focused on inflammatory bowel disease and food allergies, as well as general gastroenterology. Dr. Ramakrishna answered your questions Wednesday, June 12.
If you have a little one who's crazy about trains, this is the event for you! Thomas the Tank Engine is making a stop at Edaville USA Railroad in Carver this summer, as part of his annual tour to 45 cities around the country. You can have a "Day Out With Thomas" during select days through September. During your visit, you'll be able to take a 20-minute ride on Thomas and meet controller of the railway, Sir Topham Hatt. You can also stop by the "Thomas & Friends Imagination Station," featuring activities such as arts and crafts, temporary tattoos, coloring pages, stamps and train tables. There will also be Thomas-themed storytelling, video viewing, and live music. Visitors also get unlimited use of Edaville's 12 vintage amusement park rides. All aboard for fun! Saturdays and Sundays, Sat., June 15, Sun., June 16, Fri., June 21, Sat., June 22, Sun., June 23, Mon., June 24; Sat., Aug. 31; Sun., Sept.1, Mon., Sept. 2, Fri., Sept. 6, Sat., Sept. 7, & Sun., Sept. 8. 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. $20 for ages 2 and up (service charges and fees may apply). Edaville Railroad, 5 Pine St., Carver. www.edaville.com
The website girlshealth.gov is designed for girls ages 10 to 16 to help them "learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face," according to its website.
The site, created in 2002, covers issues like bullying, fitness, drugs, feelings, and sex. According to the Fox video report above, it's the sexual issues discussed on the site that are making some parents uncomfortable. Fox interviewed parents who said sex should be taught at home and not by the government and that 10-year-old girls are too young to be exposed to information such as masturbation and oral sex, reports Fox.
What do you think of the site? Would you recommend it to your daughter or do you agree that these issues are better discussed at home?
Join author Kristine Carlson Asselin as she celebrates the publication of her first picture book, "Worst Case of Pasketti-itis," at the Reuben Hoar Library in Littleton. For ages 3-7, "Worst Case of Pasketti-itis" is the story about Petunia, who loves pasta more than any other food. There are so many different varieties! Why should she eat anything else? Her mother, her teacher, and even the lunch-lady, warn her that she might turn into pasta if she doesn’t try something else. Could she really turn into pasta? Would it be farfalle? Or maybe fettuccini? Petunia finds out, to her dismay, that “you are what you eat.” At this event, the author will read her book, answer questions about writing and the publishing process, and be available to sign copies. Snacks and crafts will round out the afternoon of fun. Sat., June 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Free. All ages. Couper Room at the Reuben Hoar Library, 41 Shattuck St., Littleton. www.littletonlibrary.org
If you are the proud parent of a baby (newborn to 12 months), here's another way to celebrate your bundle of joy. The "New Baby Celebration!" at Barefoot Books is an event that features activities and giveaways just for families with babies. There will be a parent and child music demonstration with music educator Ronni Olitsky, a baby sign language introductory lesson by Signing Time Academy, a special story time with First Connections, and a raffle for children's books and other items. In addition, parents can enjoy (fee-based, deeply discounted) a mini family photography session with Carlee Kettell of ckdesign (limited space; includes 3 digital images; $50 fee payable by check in advance), and half-price custom clay keepsakes of your newest addition’s hand/footprints ($20).
Free and discounted activities for older siblings will also be available. Registration is required for this event and limited to 20 families. The 15-minute photo sessions are limited to eight families (call 978-369-1770 to sign up). Sat., June 15, 10 a.m. - noon. Free admission. Families with babies aged 0-12 months. Preregistration required. Barefoot Books, 89 Thoreau St., Concord. www.barefootbooks.com
Breast milk-flavored candy?
It's the latest in breast milk-inspired products. Who could forget the controversial breast milk ice cream introduced in 2011? There is also breast milk jewelry on Etsy. Back to that in a bit.
A lollipop company in Texas called Lollyphile rolled out a breast-milk-flavored lollipop on Monday. But the pops don't actually contain breast milk.
The company writes on its site, "ps there's no actual breast milk in these. they're vegan! omg the armies of pumping women."
So what's the deal?
Breast milk inspired the taste of the pops. From the company's site: "We are endlessly grateful to all the mothers who kept sharing their breast milk with our flavor specialists until we were able to candify it."
Four of the lollipops will cost you $10; a dozen $24; and a case of 36 $58.
For a product made with actual breast milk, check out breast milk jewelry by MommyMilk Creations, which we featured in our Quirky Baby Products gallery.
What do you think of breast milk-inspired products?
Would you try a breast-milk-flavored lollipop or give one to your child?
Photo by Dayle Sullivan-Taylor"A Wild Affair" is an adult-only (21 and over) “tasting” event at Stone Zoo that will feature stations hosted by local restaurants and caterers as well as live entertainment, a silent auction, and an opportunity to stroll among the animals. Participating restaurants include Bertucci’s of Reading, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burtons Grill, Dockside Restaurants, Edible Arrangements, Friendly’s, Fuddruckers, Harrow’s Chicken Pies, KO Catering and Pies, Konditor Meister, Piantedosi Baking Company, Polar Beverages, Polcari’s Restaurant, Rainforest Café, Starlight Creatives, Whole Foods Woburn, Yellow Tail and many more. Attendees can bid on an array of auction items including gift cards, tickets to see Tuck Everlasting at the Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre, an overnight stay at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel, a round of golf at Kelley Greens Golf Course and much more. Musical entertainment, games and more. Proceeds from "A Wild Affair" will support the operation and continued growth of Stone Zoo, its education programs and conservation initiatives. Sat., June 22, 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. $50 in advance; $60 at gate. Attendees will be asked for appropriate ID. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham. www.zoonewengland.org
First launched in 2010, Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. Here in the Massachusetts, you'll find dozens of participating museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the JFK Library and Museum, the USS Constitution Museum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Discovery Museums, and the deCordova Park and Sculpture Museum. The Blue Star Museums initiative is ongoing through September 2, 2013. For a complete listing of participating museums offering free admission to active duty military personnel, visit www.nea.gov/national/bluestarmuseums
The next Justin Bieber, perhaps?
Check out this toddler singing "Don't Let Me Down" by The Beatles with his dad in the Fox 17 clip above.
His name is Diogo Mello and he's 1 year and 11 months old, according to the YouTube video posted by Christian Diego Mello on May 30. As of this writing, the video has been viewed 1,015,295 times.
Watch the entire video on YouTube here:
Do you have a little rock star on your hands? What does your child like to sing?
Feeling in the mood for a tale with a twist? Head over to the Puppet Showplace Theatre for "Father's Goose's Tales." In this spin on a classic, there's trouble in the nursery -- Mother Goose has taken the day off and Father Goose must do all her chores, including the storytelling. Try as he might, Father Goose just can't get the stories right. "Father Goose's Tales" is a modern retelling of nursery rhymes, stories and children's songs that will entertain the whole family. The performance by Nappy's Puppets features live acting and shadow puppets. Thurs., June 13, 10:30 a.m.; Fri., June 14, 10:30 a.m.; Sat., June 15, 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. Ages 3 and up. $12; members, $8. Reservations recommended. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. www.puppetshowplace.org
Need to make a gift or card for that special dad in your life? Looking for something fun and unique to do on Father's Day? From arts and crafts to story times and free admissions, here are some Boston-area events that can help you celebrate dad.
"Father's Day Story time and Craft," Curious George Store, One JFK St., Cambridge. Fri., June 14, 10:30 a.m. Free. RSVP required. Stories about awesome dads, such as "Papa, Do You Love Me?" and "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me," followed by card-making. Email number of children attending to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure spot at event. www.thecuriousgeorgestore.com
"Father's Day Story and Craft," Barefoot Books, 89 Thoreau St., Concord. Sat., June 15, 1 p.m. $4. Ages 2 and up. Listen to stories and make a Father's Day craft. www.barefootbooks.comFULL ENTRY
There are 281 spellers ages 8 to 14 in Oxon Hill, Md. this week for the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee, and two of the semifinalists are from Massachusetts.
The kids are from all 50 states as well as Canada, Italy, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Ghana, American Samoa, China, the Bahamas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Here is one of our semifinalists, Amber Born, celebrating yesterday with a friend after learning she made the cut.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
And here is more about our spelling wiz kids, courtesy of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. It turns out they are both big Beatles fans!
Amber Born, 14, of Marblehead. Amber, who wants to be a comedy writer one day, has appeared in this spelling bee four times. She tied for 42nd place in 2012. She is an 8th grader who is home schooled and plays keyboard in a Beatles tribute band
Matthew Donohue, 14, of Kingston. Matthew plays percussion in his school’s jazz band and likes to listen to the Beatles. He is in the drama club and volunteers with the Best Buddies program. He is an 8th grader who goes to Silver Lake Regional Middle School.FULL ENTRY
Watch as butterflies flutter around you in Butterfly Landing at Franklin Park Zoo. A perennial favorite, Butterfly Landing allows guests the opportunity to stroll through a tranquil environment filled with hundreds of butterflies. This tented, outdoor seasonal exhibit also features several garden beds, a pond and soothing surround-sound music. Note that this exhibit is weather dependent, and may close on inclement days. Daily, June 15 - Sept. After Labor Day, it will be open on weekends only. Weekdays, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; weekends, 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Included with zoo admission: adults, $17; ages 2-12, $14; seniors, $11; under age 2, free. Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston. www.zoonewengland.org
According to a Pew Research study released today, women are the breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children under the age of 18.
According to the report, 63 percent of those women are single and 37 percent are married mothers who earn more than their husbands.
Read more in this Associated Press story. And read what our parenting blogger Kara Baskin has to say about it in her post on The 24-Hour Workday: "Record number of moms are breadwinners, but at what cost?"
A group of third and fourth grade students at Currey Ingram Academy in Brentwood, Tenn. wrote a song for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing. The song is called "Keep Movin' On."
"My mom ran the Boston Marathon," says Sasha Mason, a fourth-grader who co-wrote the song, in the video. "And even though she finished before the bombs went off, it was still very scary."
The school posted the song to YouTube, writing this: "This is a song of encouragement for survivors, written by Currey Ingram Academy students Megan Hamilton (4th grade), Maddie Hogan (3rd grade), and Sasha Mason (4th grade), with help from teachers and songwriters RC Richmond, Dita Rose, and Eric Vinson. The song and video were produced in the Currey Ingram Academy recording studio by teacher and songwriter Sean Kelly."
The school is encouraging listeners to share the song and donate.
"We want to make as much money for The One Fund of Boston as possible!" it says on the school's website.
Here is the song's chorus:
Wipe your tears away, it'll be okay
Keep moving on
This is not the end, the sun will rise again
Keep moving on.
Read all the lyrics.
What do you think of the song?
About Parent Buzz
Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a kindergartner and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.