As some of you may remember, a little girl’s life was tragically cut short just a few days before Halloween last year. Zoe Montgomery was killed in a hayride accident at the Orr Family Farm when she was just 18 months old.
In remembrance of Zoe, her parents have set up a special balloon release this Sunday to commemorate what would have been her second birthday, March 29. It will take place at 2 p.m. at Resthaven Funeral Home & Memory Gardens, where she was laid to rest last October.
The ceremony is open to anyone who would like to show support on what will probably be a very hard day on this little girl’s family. If you would like to attend, go to Resthaven, 500 SW 104 St. Directions can be found online at www.resthavenokc.com or by calling 691-1661.
Zoe Montgomery, in an August 2008 family photo.
I can honestly tell you I’ve been waiting for it for weeks, if not months — the Just Between Friends spring/summer consignment sale.
The event, which organizers say is the nation’s largest children’s consignment event, is March 23-28 in the Cox Pavilion Building at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. The event offers the opportunity for parents to sell and purchase used clothing, toys, furniture, strollers, books, etc. Whatever your child needs, they probably have it.
Last year, I found fancy holiday dresses for $4, a wipes warmer for $5 and a play mat for $10 for my now 5-month-old daughter. Last year, she was still riding around in the womb. This week, I’ll be searching for toys and clothes. She’s outgrown most of hers and will be need some new activities to assist her developmentally as as she prepares to crawl and walk.
Even though it costs $2 to enter, I like to go the first day because you get a better look at what’s available and can, hopefully, find better deals. But I believe they bring in new products midweek, Wednesday, I think. Friday all starred items are 25 percent off and Saturday items are 50 percent off. I hope this information helps you find some great deals and, of course, wonder products for your kids:
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
- Directions: The best directions I can offer are to drive toward the red, white and blue space needle. But here is the address in case you want to look it up: 333 Gordon Cooper, Oklahoma City 73107.
- Cost: $2 to enter the first day.
- Advice: Bring a laundry basket or bag to carry the items you want to purchase. Better yet, bring a friend to stand in line while you shop. Sometimes the line can be a little long.
- Payment methods: Cash, check, Visa and Master Card
- Information: okc.jbfsale.com
Ronisha Carpenter — This is Ronisha’s first post. She is a married mother of an infant daughter and is learning to juggle work and family and to appreciate the simple joys in life. She’s interested in learning more about how people strike a good balance between home, work and all the other things that compete for our time. Ronisha is a copy editor at The Oklahoman.
It was the weekend we have been patiently waiting for … the opening of the exhibit “Dinosaurs Unearthed” at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Saturday morning, my son had a toddler class at the zoo and even though temps were in the 30s, we still made the trek down to see the dinos after his class. He hesitated to go in at first, hearing the growling of these massive beasts from outside the exhibit tent. But after a little coaxing, he walked in, astonished at what greeted him.
The exhibit has huge, seemingly life-size dinos, skeletons, bones and even a sand pit for the kids to play in, to find dino footprints. All the favorites were featured – the triceratops, stegosaurus and of course, the T-Rex. They were animatronic models (think Jurassic Park) and some could even be controlled by the kids.
If I had to sum up this exhibit in one word, it would be AMAZING. I highly recommend a visit to the zoo to see these dinos. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily and runs through June 30. It is free with paid zoo admission. I’m sure we’ll be spending many weekends among the dinosaurs between now and the end of the June.
For more information about the exhibit and other events at the zoo, go to www.okczoo.com.
Here’s just a taste of what you can see at the exhibit:
Recently I have had to search for a new day care center because the one I’ve had my toddler in is set to close the beginning of July. Since I didn’t really have to search when I placed him there, I was trying to figure out the best way to approach finding a new center.
Oklahoma Child Care Resource & Referral Association, Inc. and Oklahoma Department of Human Services published pamphlets full of helpful tips on choosing the best possible care for your child. Here are a few of their guidelines:
1. Start early. As soon as you think you may need child care, start the process. Finding a suitable center takes time and some have lengthy waiting lists, especially for infants and young toddlers.
2. Make a call (and go online). The Oklahoma referral service is free and can provide facts and lists of options in your area. The number is 1-888-962-2772 or you can go online: www.oklahomachildcare.org.
Also, you can go to okdhs.org/childcarefind to search for different day cares based on your personal preferences (how may stars the center is accredited with, ages accepted, type of facility, etc.)
You can also call DHS to request reports on the day cares of your choice. They will detail complaints and violations. For Oklahoma County, the number is 767-2650.
3. Visit & ask questions. Look at important factors in deciding on a facility such as:
-Adult to child ratio. The fewer children to caregiver, the better.
-Group size. Smaller groups are safer and more calm.
-Caregiver qualifications. Find out about their training and education. Degrees/special training for taking care of children are key. Look at the turnover – have the caregivers been there a long time? If they are all fairly new, that may be a red flag. Also be sure someone is CPR certified.
-Star ratings. For any center, be sure they are licensed. DHS gives stars to programs for meeting certain criteria. The more stars, the more the center has done above basic licensing requirements.
-Policies. They should give you a detailed description of all their policies, such as meals, behavior, fees, vacations, field trips, medicine, etc.
Drop in unexpectedly to look around the center. Look at the food menus, methods of discipline, activities, playground areas and anywhere else your child will be. See how caregivers interact with the children. See if it’s the environment you would feel most comfortable leaving your child in.
4. Stay involved. Be a part of planning activities for the children (if there are opportunities for this) and attend any parent meetings. Always address concerns with the caregiver and director. That’s what they are there for.
5. Go with your gut instinct. The safety and well-being of your child comes first. I had visited 3-star day cares, day cares closest to my home and centers with good reputations. In the end, I had to go with my instinct. The center I chose is one in which I don’t think I would ever have doubts leaving my son.
If you’d like further information, or a detailed checklist on what to expect from a day care center and specific questions you should ask, call DHS and request a copy of the handbook “The Parents’ Guide to Selecting Quality Child Care.”
As a parent, you might worry if your American Idol-loving child says she wants to be a rock star when she grows up.
Sure it worked out for a few Okies, but wouldn’t you rather she dream of a career in say, accounting or public service?
Not as glamorous sure, but there’s a clear educational path to those careers.
Well, hold your horses honey, now there’s a clear path to the Rock Star ranks! The University of Central Oklahoma’s Academy of Contemporary Music (a.k.a. School of Rock) opens this fall and offers several college degree plans. Talented kids will hone their skills while learning the business end of the industry.
So, darling daughter, if you want to be a Rock Star, I promise not to make a face or utter a discouraging sigh. You CAN do it. But you’re only 5. So let’s see what you want to be next year.
Susan Simpson, Staff Writer
The weather outside is no longer frightful, but I’m feeling a little bit spiteful. Because school is still out, and my kids are about and getting to work is a challenge.
Most metro school district canceled school again today. While the main roads are clear and the sun is shining, some neighborhood streets remain too slick for school buses. So for the third day, my husband and I must determine who has MORE IMPORTANT things happening at work, and who is staying home with the kids.
It’s a real dilemma for working parents, who already don’t have enough days off to cover normal school holidays.
I have a possible solution. My daughters’ schools both have afterschool programs run by teachers. Some of those teachers might want to make some extra money (and I would surely pay) to open part of the schools during snow days for childcare.
Parents could drive their children to school (no buses, no liability) and the kids would be in a safe place with people they know. Sack lunches would take care of the issue of the cafeteria being closed.
What do you think? Is anyone doing this? Would districts be open to it?
Comment here with your thoughts.
(fixed broken link and updated with corrected name of New York Times author)
When my oldest child was 9 months old, he got really picky about what he ate. His hands played goalie to his mouth and only a limited variety of foods was allowed in. Except the day he ate a junebug off the floor as he crawled around. I got there just in time to hear the crunch. It was gross. I’ll spare you the details.
Now the New York Times is saying here that kind of behavior might be instinctual, that babies who put everything in their mouths as soon as they get mobile might be protecting their immune system more than the ultraclean environments some live in today.
“In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system,” writes Jane E. Brody in the New York Times.
Experts she quoted speculate that the increase in the number of immune system disorders – like asthma, allergies or Type 1 diabetes – diagnosed each year may be related to the idea that we should keep our children from germs of any kind.
The lesson here is that while cleanliness is still a virtue, it’s OK to allow some dirt in your house, and your children don’t always have to wash their hands after touching it. And if they eat a junebug or a worm or some other disgusting thing they pick up off the floor, then they might actually be helping their immune systems.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
By now, you’ve probably heard about the amazing ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ – and how U.S. Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III made an incredible split-second decision to land the plane into the Hudson River, saving all 155 on board.
In New York City, a kids’ group called KidCity started a project to thank the hero they say saved not only his crew and passengers, but quite possibly many more people on the ground. Kids are honoring the pilot by sending him artwork, photos, drawings, and more. They are compiling the art and including a gift to present to “Sully.”
Even though this project is based out of New York City, I am sure his efforts are appreciated across the country. Kids here in Oklahoma can contribute to this project by sending cards, artwork, photos, or anything else to honor the pilot to:
300 W. 55th St.#15A
New York, NY 10019
What a great way to say “Thank you for a job well done.”
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III
You may have seen the free Metro Family Magazine on racks throughout the metro-area. They also have a Web site where you can sign up for free e-newsletters, telling you of upcoming family-oriented events in the area.
Right now, they are having a parenting workshop called “Parent University.” It’s a series with separate classes for parents and educators that provides tools to help in day-to-day parenting and “raising great kids.”
Feb. 5 is the next installment of this series. Child care is offered through the class and group discounts are also available. Each ticket is $55.00. Not bad, considering I probably spent well over that in parenting books that I haven’t even cracked open yet.
Dr. Betsey Geddes of the Love & Logic Program will be teaching the course on “Responsible Parents Raising Repsponsible Kids” for parents and ”Discipline that Builds Self-Discipline” for educators.
Click here for more information on what topics the classes cover and to register. And if nothing else, be sure to sign up for the free Metro Family newsletters.
As a parent, I can hardly watch this video. Yes, it’s cool, it’s an adventure and the scenery is gorgeous. Thank goodness these are not my children. Can you imagine protecting your children through their lives — childproofing your house so your toddlers can avoid serious falls, guiding your elementary school students through playground issues, worrying about your high school sons getting injured in football, only to have them jump off a cliff wearing a suit that helps them fly? Oh, the poor mothers of such thrill seekers.
Here’s the link if the video doesn’t come up.
~ Lilllie-Beth Brinkman (email@example.com)