Does anyone have this year’s “hottest” toy (according to whom, I’m not sure), the Zhu Zhu pet hamster? How far are you willing to go to get one, and how much would you pay for this $10 toy? Does anyone remember what last year’s hottest pet toy was? I don’t. Will it make or break my children’s Christmas if they don’t get at least one of the hot toys of the season?
The AP is reporting today (link here) that these robotic pets are fetching $40 or more at some auction sites from parents who are desperate to secure the latest and greatest toy in time Christmas. They look pretty cute, and if I had seen one in a store, I might have considered getting one for my children; the price is right, and the marketing has convinced me that this is THE toy they’re going to want, whether they know it or not.
However, if I don’t see it, then the world won’t end. I’m not going to fight you for it, nor am I willing to stand in line at 5 a.m. (or camp out overnight) on Black Friday for a hamster toy or any other toy for that matter. I’m willing to bet that supply will catch up with demand and these toys will be for sale again before they’re forgotten in favor of next year’s hot toy.
Am I missing something? I know I’ve missed some great deals today and probably a lot of fun looking for the perfect presents with a group of people united (or competing?) for a common cause: shopping. I read the newspaper ads and even thought, “what if”?
But then common sense, the need for sleep, and the lack of a sitter to watch my children took over my brain. There seems to be plenty of “stuff” to go around for kids and grownups, too, and I don’t think it’s all going to be gone today. They’ll have a much better Christmas if I get more sleep and forego stress over the hunt for the Zhu Zhu hamster.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts about the appeal of Black Friday shopping as well as the demand to give the latest and greatest toys to our children for Christmas instead of the almost-latest and greatest toys, pretty good toys, or (GASP) what kids would consider the lowest category of gift-giving, Things They Need.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (email@example.com)
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the voluntary recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, including almost 150,000 bearing the Fisher-Price logo.
Because of the danger these cribs can impose, such as as suffocation, concussion, bruises and even death, parents and caregivers are urged to stop using these cribs IMMEDIATELY, wait for the free repair kit and NOT attempt to fix the crib without the kit. The drop-side to these cribs will need to be converted to a fixed side.
The drop-side hardward can break or deform, causing the drop-side to detach in one or more corners, creating a space where infants and toddlers can become entrapped, leading to suffocation.
In the Oklahoma City area, these cribs were sold at JCPenney, KMart, Walmart, Sears, Target and online at Amazon.com. Cribs were sold between January 1993 and October 2009 for between $100 and $400.
For the repair kit, call Stork Craft at (877) 274-0277 or go to www.storkcraft.com (although word is the phone line and Web site is on overload right now, but keep trying!!).
To sign up for immediate recall information of children’s products, go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
The time around the holidays is when the Oklahoma City offers some of its most fun things to do. Don’t let the cold scare you away … you’ll enjoy great events, specials and you won’t be fighting the crowds.
Here are some upcoming events at the zoo:
Nov. 25 – Free day. No admission fee! Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nov. 27 – Feast for the Beasts. Some animals will be feasting on traditional Thanksgiving dishes from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
December through February – Free zoo admission every Monday!
Dec. 1 – 24 – Deck the Zoo. Bring and edible wildlife ornament and get admission to the zoo for only $1!
Dec. 5, 12 and 19 – Cupcakes with Santa. Kids can decorate their own holiday cupcake. They’ll create some unique holiday crafts and end the day with a visit from Santa himself. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Cost for children age 3 and older is $20 for ZooFriends members, $22 for nonmembers. Adults are free with a paid child. Pre-registration is required and must be made one week prior to the event. Register online at http://okczoo.recware.com or call 425-0218.
Dec. 5 – Wreath making class. Everything to make a holiday wreath will be provided. Cost is $20 for ZooFriends members, $25 for nonmembers and the class is for age 16 and older. Register at the same site or phone number listed above.
Dec. 7 – Coffee Connections. This is a new, FREE program for ages 16 and older from 9 to 10 a.m. Meet at the Rosser Conservation Education Center to learn about the zoo and its happenings while sipping a cup of joe.
Dec. 14 – Santa is stopping by the zoo to delivery goodies to the animals from 10 to 11 a.m. Guests in the Canopy Restaurant can enjoy free hot chocolate and doughnuts and get pictures with Santa. Activity is free, no reservations are required.
Dec. 29, 30 – Winter day camps are available for ages 4-11. They are from 9 a.m. to noon and cost $20 for ZooFriends members, $25 for nonmembers. Snacks will be provided, but bring a lunch. Advance registration and payment are required. Enroll at http://okczoo.recware.com or call 425-0218.
For more information about upcoming zoo events, go to www.okczoo.com.
Brandon and Susie Dutcher did what a lot of families would do when told their baby was sick: they prayed and sought the best medical help. Anne Marie wasn’t even born yet when the Edmond couple began the journey they hoped would make their family of six a happy, healthy family of seven. They’ve been chronicling their lives and Anne Marie’s story on their blog in the month since she was born. The doctors aren’t sure she’ll make it. Her parents aren’t sure either, but their extraordinary faith has carried them through. As a parent, I find their updates both inspiring and heartwrenching and don’t read without a box of tissue handy. I check daily to find out how that precious little angel and her family are doing. Go see for yourself: http://www.brandondutcher.blogspot.com/
If you do, you’ll want to check out this recall issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Maclaren USA has reported 12 fingertip amputations in the U.S. involving the strollers’ hinge mechanism, all children.
1 million strollers are affected by this recall including ALL single and double umbrella strollers. They were sold at various stores including Babies R Us, Target and other national retailers from 1999 through this month.
Consumers will get a free repair kit from Maclaren.
For full recall information, including additional photos, click here.
I can’t encourage parents enough to sign up to get recall alerts emailed to them. Since my son was born, 5 items we were using, including a carseat, were recalled.
Sign up online at https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
Are you one to share pictures of your children online or do you shy away from posting photos on the Web?
Recently, The New York Times had an article about the surge in sharing kids’ photos online. Many parents use sites such as Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and other social networking sites to share countless moments of their kiddos – whether they’re in a Halloween costume, at Grandma’s house or (gasp!) playing in the tub. But in some cases, photos have ended up used in ways not intended by the parent.
Some examples include photos of baby being passed off as someone else’s who is faking a pregnancy; use of children’s head shots on profiles on a social networking site in Brazil, even getting “sexy” ratings. And of course, parents are concerned about pedophiles singling out their children and in turn finding out where they live.
But some parents say this is the age of the Internet. No longer are moms and dads sending pictures of their children through the mail to the grandparents in another state. These days, grandma and grandpa are hooked to the Web to see instant pictures.
So is it exploitation or unsafe to post pictures? Or are the fears irrational and this is just how the 21st century is? It’s a decision only parents can make. But if you do post pics, be sure to use password-protected Web sites and always check your privacy settings on these sites.
And when given the choice of “Share with the world” or “Private” … don’t always go with what the site “recommends.” Go with your gut instinct instead.