Category: Maryland



July 15, 2011

Howdy, DC!

Sarah-Ava-CharlieMy family and I have been in Austin, TX since fall 2009, but I'm grateful to have remained so connected to Washington and to you all - thanks to the magic of the Interwebs, my ongoing consulting work with DC clients, and old-fashioned visits.

The Revised 2nd Edition of the DC BABY book (November 2008) is still available from Amazon.com - and right here. It's also still selling at DC-area bookstores, and is available for purchase as an e-book. (Looks nice on Kindle!)

We can also now connect on DC BABY's Facebook page, where I'll be sharing favorite events and resources, as well as updates to book content. In time the page will grow into a hub for DC moms and dads to share info and support. So come check it out, and say hello. I'd love to hear from you.

Posted by Sarah at 12:20 PM. Permanent link to "Howdy, DC!."

July 29, 2009

Last love letter to Washington

Washington, I miss you already!

Tomorrow morning I'll be on a plane to Texas with my children. Between now and then we have the dreaded, inevitably tearful goodbyes with our our dear friends, their son (our daughter's best pal and pseudo-sibling), and the beloved caregiver who has been part of our family for the past four+ years. Ava and I were already in tears this morning. It's that kind of day.

I hate goodbyes more than the average person, I think. Maybe it's because I'm a child of divorce, but they just kill me. But I need to formally, finally thank you all for reading this blog, for buying my books, for lending your tips and input over the years. I will miss this work, and I wish all the very best to you and your families. I appreciate the way you helped make DC BABY a success.

As for DC itself. This has been my second stint calling it home, and I still say this city is a knockout. It's like no other on earth. I'll miss the thrill of driving across the Memorial Bridge toward the white columns of the Lincoln, with the sun bouncing off the Potomac and the breeze blowing through my open windows. I'll miss Eastern Market on a Saturday morning, and cheering on the bagpipers on the streets of Old Town at Christmas. I'll miss riding the metro and showing off our museums to out-of-towners. I'll miss the politicos and their politics. I'll miss knowing Ben's Chili Bowl is 15 minutes away. I'll miss spring's big blooms and winter's whiteness, and the reds and oranges of fall. I will miss calling it "mine."

Take care of this fabulous city, and take care of each other.

Posted by Sarah at 4:39 PM. Permanent link to "Last love letter to Washington."

July 28, 2009

Where will you turn? Here's where!

This one's for all of you who have (very kindly) written to me about your dismay that the DCB blog will no longer be updated after my move to Austin (now less than 2 days away).

While it's genuinely gratifying to know that what I've spent the past four+ years working on has been useful and well-liked... and while I will miss you, too... I just want to let you know that there's no shortage of other web-based resources for parents in the DC metro area. Each has its own style. Browse around and find some that suit you. Here are some of our favorite online parenting resources with a local focus - several of which are also featured in my book:

Our-Kids.com
The champion, gold-star resource. Can't say enough good things. Love the free website and love the weekly subscription e-newsletter even more. Worth EVERY penny, and then some. Local mom-owned and mom-staffed.

Daily Candy DC-Kids
Hip, concise, and stylishly select. We've always loved Daily Candy as a decadent treat, and the DC-Kids edition is no exception.

Washington Parent magazine's website
The online supplement to the local print magazine. Nice features and columns, and some calendar listings.

Washington Family magazine's website
The online supplement to the local print magazine. Access to features, etc. - but also some blogs penned by DC-area mamas.

Washington Post's Going Out Guide, Kid-Friendly section
Subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter, or just check out their web page when you're looking for coming events and ideas for seasonal outings.

Washington Post's KidsPost
Great for young school-age children.

A Parent in Silver Spring blog
Nice local blog penned by a Silver Spring, MD mom.

DC Urban Moms & Dads (DCUM)
The original big-ass Mother of All DC Parents' Listservs... but it now also has its own standalone site, topic-specific message boards, sub-listservs, and a blog.

DC Metro Moms
A blog penned by a talented, interesting gaggle of Beltway mamas.

GoCityKids - Washington, DC edition
A relative newcomer, but getting better all the time. The site has potential as a go-to resource.

Feel free to post info about your own favorite online resource for DC-area parents in the "comments." And I challenge and encourage any of you who are toying w/ the idea of starting your own blog, or establishing your own listserv, to fill the info gaps: You can do it! All it takes is one mama (or daddy) with a good idea, who is willing to follow through and be patient while it grows. If you start it, they will come. They really will.

Posted by Sarah at 9:45 AM. Permanent link to "Where will you turn? Here's where!."

July 24, 2009

Weekend Watch: Hot fun in the summertime, in Silver Spring

TONIGHT in downtown Silver Spring, check out "Rock & Romp," with kid-friendly live music, face painting and temp tattoos. Not to mention those big fountains spraying high throughout the evening, for little ones with swimsuits and towels who want to cool off. It happens 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the plaza, as part of the ongoing "Friday Night Spotlight" series.

Tonight's lineup hosts indie rock bands playing a family-oriented gig that encourages kids get into the groove on the dance floor. You can also plan to bring a picnic dinner, or grab food from any of a number of takeout restaurants on the plaza.

Enjoy! And p.s.: For those of you who live in or near Silver Spring, be sure to check out their Wednesday morning summer program for tots, also on the plaza downtown.

As for me and mine, our last weekend in DC will be spent furiously packing (and all that goes along with it), with our move to Austin looming the end of next week. (Sob. We miss you already, Washington.)

Posted by Sarah at 9:49 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Hot fun in the summertime, in Silver Spring."

July 23, 2009

Wings of Fancy @ Brookside Gardens

We love recommending this every year, because it's one of those outings that brings little ones such joy: Brookside Gardens (in Montgomery County, MD's Wheaton Regional Park) is hosting its "Wings of Fancy" event, with more than 30 species of Asian, North American, and Costa Rican butterflies in flight in a beautiful setting.

You can catch this exhibit 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, through September 20. Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for ages three to 12, and babies/toddlers under age three get in free. You can call their "butterfly hotline" for more info: 301.962.1453.

Posted by Sarah at 11:25 AM. Permanent link to "Wings of Fancy @ Brookside Gardens."

July 22, 2009

New consignment & eco-friendly boutique in Columbia, MD

Good news for Marylanders in or near Columbia: A new children's and maternity consignment boutique, Greenberries, opens next month, with a celebration event and special sales on Saturday, August 22.

Greenberries carries maternity and newborn through size 8, as well as baby accessories. They also stock a selected lineup of brand-new, eco-friendly and organic gifts, such as wooden toys, cards, bags for mom, safe bottles and baby gear. And the store has a small play area for children, to make your shopping experience a little easier.

p.s. Muchas gracias for all the Amazon.com love!

Posted by Sarah at 12:20 PM. Permanent link to "New consignment & eco-friendly boutique in Columbia, MD."

July 21, 2009

Amazon.com reviews + free e-books of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition

So as most of you know from recent monthly newsletters, the clock is ticking on my time as a Washingtonian. We will be leaving for Austin, TX on the 30th.

While the blog will fall quiet, the four years of archives will remain here for your reference. And my book will still be available for sale at local stores and online (including here at dc-baby.com). But I have to admit that, considering how nicely the books have been selling since the Revised Second Edition came out last year, I feel a little dejected saying farewell with no reader reviews on Amazon.com. It's a trifling thing, sure... But it sure would feel nice to have some of the many kind comments about the book you've emailed to me shared on Amazon in support of my work.

So here's my offer. If any of you who have read my book, DC BABY, and found it useful are willing to post a reader review on the book's Amazon page - I will gladly send you a (free) e-book copy as a "thank you." Just send me an email (sarah-at-dc-baby-dot-com) after posting your review and I'll reply with a nifty PDF copy attached.

I'll be blogging through next Wednesday the 29th. Stay tuned. And thanks again for your 4+ years of support and friendship!

Posted by Sarah at 3:08 PM. Permanent link to "Amazon.com reviews + free e-books of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition."

July 17, 2009

Weekend Watch: Summer Safari in Gaithersburg

The best ticket of the weekend is the second annual Summer Safari family concert and festival, Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the City Hall Concert Pavilion in Gaithersburg - with live shows from our family's favorite, Recess Monkey (from Seattle), and local kids' band Rocknocerus and Sirius XM's Robbie Schaefer.

You can also expect: mini-carnival, petting zoo, face painting, balloons, crafts and games, food, and lots of vendors. This event was a HUGE success last year, and I expect will be even better the second time around.

If by chance you can't make it to the festival... you have one more chance to take your kids to a Recess Monkey live show, Saturday at 11 a.m. at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA. We caught them there on last summer's tour and have been listening to their CDs... including the rockin' newest one... ever since. Get your tix advance tix on Jammin' Java's website.

Posted by Sarah at 2:47 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Summer Safari in Gaithersburg."

July 14, 2009

Correction to yesterday's post

Argh! I've just received updated info about the free storytimes @ Jabberu, featured in yesterday's post: These sessions have gone on hiatus for a summer break, but will return in September.

However, their Bastille Day party is still ON for this evening. Enjoy!

Apologies for the confusion.... And another new post coming later today, with a free opportunity to sample Parenting Playgroups.

Posted by Sarah at 10:40 AM. Permanent link to "Correction to yesterday's post."

July 13, 2009

FREE Tuesday storytimes @ Jabberu (+ Bastille Day for kids)

CORRECTION: These storytimes have gone on summer hiatus, but will return in September! Call the Bethesda or Gaithersburg location for the start date.

Did you know? Jabberu's Bethesda and Gaithersburg locations host FREE storytime and sing-along sessions - And you don't need to be enrolled in their programs to take part.

At the Gaithersburg location, Tuesday mornings from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., stop by for stories and songs in Spanish and English, for babies and toddlers up to age three with a parent. For more details, call the Kentlands location (1.888.951.1119 (press 2)).

Tuesday mornings at the Bethesda location from 11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., stories and songs are presented in French and English, for babies and toddlers up to age three with a parent.Call the Bethesda location (1.888.951.1119 (press 4)) for more details.

Also, THIS TUESDAY, July 14th: Jabberu hosts a free Bastille Day celebration for preschoolers and school-age kids 4 to 10. Stop by the Bethesda location tomorrow evening from 6 to 7 p.m. for a celebratin of French culture. Space is limited, so RSVP at 888.951.1119. Vive la France!

Posted by Sarah at 3:06 PM. Permanent link to " FREE Tuesday storytimes @ Jabberu (+ Bastille Day for kids)."

July 3, 2009

Weekend Watch: Get a jumpstart on your kid-friendly Fourth

If you've been-there-done-that with the insane crowds on the National Mall, or just want something with less hassle and more for little kids, here's a nice alternative:

The Gaylord Resort at the swanky National Harbor is hosting a family-oriented "July 3rd Celebration" TONIGHT from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.

There will be a Kid Zone with carnival rides, face painting, balloon sculpting, and caricature artists; great food options (including Lefty's BBQ); live rock/country/ and Caribbean music, a wine garden for the adults, and a 15-minute fireworks display over the Potomac after sundown.

Not a bad way to low-key the holiday, while still giving your children their promised fireworks fix.

p.s. I will be offline for the next week, but the blog will return Monday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 29th when I depart for Austin.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Posted by Sarah at 4:58 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Get a jumpstart on your kid-friendly Fourth."

July 2, 2009

Fun summer outing: Backyard Theater @ Strathmore

The summer children's program Backyard Theater is underway at the Strathmore in Bethesda, with outdoor shows every Thursday morning at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. during the month of July.

I think the African-fusion dance and drumming performance and the Red Grammer show sound especially appealing.

Little ones under age three get in FREE. Kids age three+ and adults are an affordable $6 each. You can buy online OR at the gate.

Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 1:29 PM. Permanent link to "Fun summer outing: Backyard Theater @ Strathmore."

June 25, 2009

Kid fun @ Glen Echo Park

Not only does Glen Echo Park celebrate its Heritage Days this weekend, but its fabulous children's theaters are also staging two great performances for kids. Make a day-trip of it, and be sure to ride the historic 1921 Dentzel carousel, while you're there. (Open 12 noon to 6 p.m.)

At the Puppet Co.'s is the 30-minute-long "Circus," featuring vintage marionettes, or "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" on the Adventure stage. If you do the Adventure show, be sure to arrive early, since their seating tends to fill up quickly when the doors open.

Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 2:57 PM. Permanent link to "Kid fun @ Glen Echo Park."

June 19, 2009

Weekend Watch: Dad's Day & the Waterfront Festival

Happy Father's Day, DC dads! Hope it's a good one. If you're taking Pop out for a good meal this weekend, check OpenTable's list of who's open and who's doing special menus.

With the weather looking decent for the weekend, our pick is the 28th Annual Waterfront Festival in Alexandria, to benefit the Red Cross. Year after year, this is our daughter's favorite outing of the summer, with loads of kids' carnival rides, good food, and live music by the Potomac.

Our best advice for families with young children is to arrive as close to opening time as possible (10 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday), before it gets too crowded...and in time for the kids' music acts: This year featuring two of the favorites I've blogged about. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo performs Saturday from 11:30 to 12:30, and Rocknoceros on Sunday from 12 noon to 12:50. Kids can also tour a tall ship, learn about the life of pirates with authentically-attired "pirate guides," and make Father's Day cards and get their little faces painted in the arts & crafts tent. If your children are old enough to stay up late, there will be fireworks Saturday night!

Advance tix online are just $10 per adult - and two children get in free with each paying adult. All kids under age three get in for free.

Posted by Sarah at 10:23 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Dad's Day & the Waterfront Festival."

June 16, 2009

Summer book love

When I was a kid growing up in extra-sweaty Texas, summer meant extra-many trips to the (air-conditioned) library with my grandmother and my cousin, where we piled stacks so high we could barely carry them home. Hot afternoons were for snuggling under a cotton quilt on the day-bed and escaping into a good book.

While it's not quite as miserably sweaty here in Washington, summer's still a great time to luxuriate in books with your little one(s). Unfortunately some (though not all) of the DC area's public libraries are cutting back on their hours and storytime offerings due to budget woes - but you can still check out books to your heart's content.

Here are some of my other local faves for falling in love with new books this summer:

Politics & Prose storytime: Mondays @ 10:30 a.m. They also offer a discount on a "signed book of the week." Check out the current selection in the store or on their website.

Hooray for Books storytimes: Saturdays from 10:30 to 11 a.m. (for ages two and under) and from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon (for ages three to five). Also, they've added Tuesday storytimes for all ages in Japanese - from 10:30 to 11 a.m. And check out a day-long anniversary party at the store this Saturday, the 20th, with balloons, face painting, raffles, and special visits from local children's authors.

The Pajama Squid summer storytimes: Fridays at 10:30 a.m. until August 28th, with fabulous reader Karen Payne and occasional guest-reader Jessica from the "A Parent in Silver Spring" blog. Geared toward ages three to six years, but all ages are welcome. The store also stocks a brilliantly select offering of books - a mix of classics and will-be-classics. Check out owner Tiffany King's video book reviews on their homepage.

Aladdin's Lamp storytimes: This Saturday the 20th, local author Laura Melmed will celebrate Father's Day by reading her new book, "My Love Will be With You," @ 11 a.m. (suggested for ages three+).

Kinder Haus storytimes: Every Monday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. with "Ms. Laura" - and they have a nice book section in the store, too.

Feel free to post your own favorite storytime or book-related events in the "comments."

Posted by Sarah at 2:44 PM. Permanent link to "Summer book love."

June 15, 2009

Thumbs up for "Dinosaur Pop"

An outtake from our recent newsletter that's well worth sharing again on the blog:

DC-area dad and musician Paul Legrady, inspired by his young son's dinosaur mania, is the dominant talent behind a new kids' CD, "Dinosaur Pop." We recently had the opportunity to test-drive the music with the most discerning critics we know... our very own five-year-old daughter and one-year-old son. It was a hit!

Think pop-rock composition and instrumentation reminiscent of early R.E.M., with dinosaur-themed lyrics that hook the younger set. A welcome antidote to the much of the tired, uninspired "children's music" on the market. Check out their website, sample the tunes, and buy your CD at www.dinosaurpop.com.

Posted by Sarah at 9:10 AM. Permanent link to "Thumbs up for "Dinosaur Pop"."

June 11, 2009

Free outdoor concerts in MoCo

Those of you who live in Montgomery County have a built-in supply of free, kid-friendly outings to choose from this summer. Check out the Post's extensive compilation of these events, running now through August in Bethesda, Germantown, Rockville, Wheaton, Gaithersburg, and Montgomery Village.

Anyone who knows of free outdoor concerts in other parts of the DC area should post them here in the "comments" section. Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 10:11 AM. Permanent link to "Free outdoor concerts in MoCo."

June 9, 2009

Kids (& moms) eat free tomorrow @ California Tortilla

We really like locally-owned California Tortilla for yummy affordable meals out with our children... So we were happy to hear that tomorrow - Wednesday, June 10 - is "Kids Eat Free Day" at all California Tortilla locations. One child eats for free with each adult purchase. And all stores will be collecting donations for Make a Wish, rewarding donors with a $1-off coupon for their next visit.

At the Cleveland Park location only (Connecticut Ave. next to the metro entrance), tomorrow is "Moms AND Kids Eat Free" from 1 to 2 p.m. Just say "Mama Mia" to get your free meal(s). They'll also have some extra goodies on hand for families.

Posted by Sarah at 1:51 PM. Permanent link to "Kids (& moms) eat free tomorrow @ California Tortilla."

June 5, 2009

Weekend Watch: Children's Street Festival in Bethesda

The weather should clear up nicely for Saturday's Imagination Bethesda, an annual children's street festival celebrating the arts.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., check out the live kids' entertainment, roving performers, face painters, balloonists, hands on creative activities, children's yoga and Spanish sing-alongs, faux tattoos, and food booths from some of Bethesda's best restaurants. It takes place along Woodmont Ave., between Bethesda Ave. and Elm St. Take the Bethesda Circulator, plan to park in one of the nearby metered garages, or metro to the Bethesda station. Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 3:09 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Children's Street Festival in Bethesda."

June 2, 2009

2 weeks only: BIG summer book sale

Preparing to move to Austin! For you, that means a big book sale. Through June 14th only, your online order of DC BABY: Revised Second Edition in paperback is 35% off PLUS free shipping. (That comes to just $14.92.)

If you've been planning to buy the book or have an upcoming baby shower/gift need, now's the time. Thanks f/ your support, and thanks f/ reading!

Posted by Sarah at 10:49 AM. Permanent link to "2 weeks only: BIG summer book sale."

May 31, 2009

Tweet

It was bound to happen, eventually. I gave in and joined the Twitter revolution.

Is it just me, or is this simultaneously the most promising and claustrophobic technology EVER? And what mother has the time or the stomach to tweet every mundane move of her day, anyhow? I sure as heck won't be bombarding myself and others with anything approaching a complete transcript of my tedium. I'm not convinced that I want to stalk and be stalked by my friends, associates, and loved ones "in all those moments between the emails and the blog posts and the IMs and the phone calls," as the Twitter promo video tells me I should. I'm a girl who likes to be unplugged, unreachable, and unknowable on a regular basis, thank you very much. So I mostly consider my Twitter account a noble experiment in staying young. Join me in it, dear readers, if you're game.

Posted by Sarah at 5:33 PM. Permanent link to "Tweet."

May 30, 2009

Do you have a cover-baby? Win a Hela Spa package!

Our friends at Hela Spa (Georgetown & Chevy Chase) are searching for their next beautiful "spa baby." Enter their Facebook photo contest by sending your favorite baby pic via email to: info-at-helaspa-dot-com by Monday, June 1. The winning baby/mama will receive an indulgent spa package. The final vote will take place via Hela Spa's Facebook page, so ask your friends and family to join and vote.

Also check out their Baby Spa Menu, to see the adorable face of their current "spa baby."

Good luck!

p.s. Check our June e-newsletter for details on what Hela Spa's offering for Father's Day specials!

Posted by Sarah at 7:40 AM. Permanent link to "Do you have a cover-baby? Win a Hela Spa package!."

May 29, 2009

Weekend Watch: Carnival in Springfield & Family Sing in Bethesda

Good stuff on both sides of the Potomac this weekend:

Springfield Days is underway in NoVa, now through Sunday, with kids' carnival rides and games, live entertainment, a PetFest, and Paws Parade at the Springfield mall - plus a cardboard boat regatta, concert, and movie-under-the-stars at Lake Accotink Park, and a fitness fest at the South Run Rec Center.

If you've been meaning to check out the (fabulous, fabulous) musiKids program, or if you're already one of their loyal families, plan to attend their FREE Family Sing this Sunday, May 31 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in Bethesda. Space is limited, so you do need to RSVP that you plan to attend. Send email to: info-at-musikids-dot-com.

p.s. Also this weekend, for the grownups (and older preschoolers/school age kids who might be interested in dance and performance, like my daughter!)... My friend and neighbor Sara Lavan - who is featured in the second edition of my book as a local prenatal/postpartum pilates instructor and nutrition consultant for mamas - will be performing with the Choreographers Collaboration Project Saturday, 7 p.m. at the Durant Center in Old Town Alexandria. Sara's a great inspiration those of us who need reminders to never fully relinquish our "former," pre-mommy passions... Congrats to her for getting back to the professional dance world, and proving that there's life after New York City!

Posted by Sarah at 9:42 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Carnival in Springfield & Family Sing in Bethesda."

May 14, 2009

The parenting pain of weekend rain

The Washington Post's "Capital Weather Gang" meteorologist (and DC dad) Dan Stillman has been blogging about the parenting pain of weekend rain. And brother, I empathize.

Since it looks like we'll get yet more of the wet stuff this weekend, be sure to check out the reader comments beneath Stillman's entry for rainy-weekend tips and commiseration from other local parents - and be sure to add your own! We also recommend consulting the stellar compilations of indoor play areas and indoor pools/water parks from the Our Kids website.

Posted by Sarah at 2:57 PM. Permanent link to "The parenting pain of weekend rain."

May 13, 2009

Please vote for us!

I'm honored that Nickelodeon has selected my blog as a finalist in its "2009 Parent Picks" awards for the Washington, DC area!

Fine, loyal readers that you are, will you cast your votes for DC BABY?

You can vote once a day, every day, until July 15, 2009. No registration is required to cast your votes. But while you're there, be sure to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win $2,000 cash. Your very own stimulus package!

Recognition like this makes the four+ years of hard (and often uncompensated) work feel worthwhile! Thank you to Nickelodeon for nominating the DC BABY blog!

Posted by Sarah at 10:52 AM. Permanent link to "Please vote for us!."

May 12, 2009

Limited time only: Special discount on Our Kids membership!

Just for you, DC BABY readers - and for a limited time only: The area's best local resource for families, Our Kids, is offering you a discounted membership. Until May 31st, enter promotion code DC2 to receive $2 off your subscription price.

We've been Our Kids members since 2005, and it's still, hands down, our go-to source for information about kid-friendly DC-area events and activities, reviews, special discounts and raffle giveaways, calendars of upcoming consignment sales and camp/school open houses, support programs for parents, classifieds...and the list goes on.

Yes, Our Kids also provides a great free service through its accessible website...but subscription to the weekly newsletter comes with many additional perks and gives a wealth of information not found by searching the website alone. The volume of information and weekly offers makes the modest subscription price worth every penny, and then some.

The Our Kids weekly e-newsletter is genuinely comprehensive...covering DC, suburban Maryland, and NoVa in equal measure...and it's handy for parents with kids of ALL ages - from infants to tweens. At our house, we've discovered that the newsletter really grows with us over time. There's as much good content for the parents of school-agers as for families with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. And it's a mom-founded, mom-owned, mom-powered business that we're proud to support.

For all these reasons and more, I wrote rave, first-hand reviews about Our Kids in both editions of my book. Enjoy your discounted subscription!

Posted by Sarah at 2:11 PM. Permanent link to "Limited time only: Special discount on Our Kids membership!."

May 7, 2009

Weekend Watch: Mother's Day

Can I be frank? I recommend that my fellow mamas plan to attend zero kid-friendly events this weekend, and to orchestrate zero family outings. It's Mother's Day, and mothers need to take a little self-ish time. Really.

But feel free to forward this info to the dads, so that THEY can orchestrate the weekend's family fun:

In the May DCB newsletter I covered the International Children's Festival at DC's Meridian Center, set for Saturday. Check it out!

Don't forget National Train Day events @ Union Station.

Local award-winning children's author Erica S. Perl will do an interactive storytime and signing for her funny new picture book, Chicken Butt!, Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Barnes & Noble in downtown Bethesda (4801 Bethesda Ave.) . Her first picture book, Chicken Bedtime is Really Early, got a starred review from Booklist and was featured in Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos. She followed that success with Ninety-Three in My Family, which received the Reuben Award and was a Book Sense Pick. (Thank you to Apple Seed co-owner Elleni for turning me on to Erica's work!)

Or catch the French storytime on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Hooray for Books children's bookstore in Old Town Alexandria. Expanding the cultural horizons is free for all.

And if the weather holds, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. head to the FREE Stead Park Day Celebration (1625 P St. NW near Dupont Circle), sponsored by DC Parks & Rec and Friends of Stead. There will be carnival activities, face painting and kid-friendly snacks. This year's event will unveil some long-awaited renovations, inclduing two age-appropriate playgrounds for toddlers and older children, a climbing wall, a turf picnic zone, and a resurfaced basketball court.

Happy Mother's Day, moms! May you all have a relaxing, rejuvenating day.

Posted by Sarah at 10:28 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Mother's Day."

May 6, 2009

FREE children's portrait session @ The Pajama Squid

Children's photographer Rebecca Drobis will be shooting portraits at adorable Takoma Park boutique The Pajama Squid on Sunday, May 17 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Best of all, your 5-10 minute sitting is FEE-FREE. (Not a typo.)

With no obligation to buy, you can view your proofs online with the option to purchase prints from the session. AND one participating family will be drawn at random to win a print-package worth over $125!

Rebecca Drobis is an award-winning photographer who specializes in natural, spontaneous images of kids. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post magazine, the LA Times and on the Discovery Channel. The Pajama Squid is located at 7320 Carroll Ave. on the Maryland side of Takoma Park, near the red line metro station. Featured in the Revised Second Edition of my DC BABY book, they've got a nice selection of unique, handmade wooden and plush European and American-made toys and books, and beautiful, unique clothing (several of whose brands benefit mothers and children in countries such as India and Morocco).

Posted by Sarah at 12:06 PM. Permanent link to "FREE children's portrait session @ The Pajama Squid."

May 1, 2009

Weekend Watch: So many choices!

LOTS going on this weekend for families with young children, including...

Kentlands Day in Gaithersburg (complete with a parade!), Family Day at Glen Echo Park, a big Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on the National Mall, Bird Fest at the National Zoo, a Celebrate Mothers Day Open House at Hot Mama Fitness Studio and the Celebrate Mama event, both in downtown Bethesda.

And my colleague/friend/DCB reader Heather Alderman is hosting an Usborne Book Fair at her home in Arlington on Sunday at 2 p.m. (418 N. Granada St.) - All are welcome, but please RSVP by the end of the day TODAY if you plan to stop by: fishfacegirl-at-yahoo-dot-com. We really like the Usborne books...Highly recommend them.

Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 1:24 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: So many choices!."

April 29, 2009

"Celebrate Mama" event coming to downtown Bethesda

The DC area's annual "Celebrate Mama" event comes to Bethesda Row this weekend, with a day of kid-friendly entertainment, shopping, and information for parents on Saturday, May 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The entertainment stage has lots of good stuff this year, with an 11 a.m. performance by Rocknocerus, a Funfit performance at noon, a 12:45 puppet show, 1:30 p.m. bellydancing, and an afternoon of ballet and storytelling.

Several DC BABY friends will have booths with information and prizes/giveaways, so be sure to stop and say hello to Our Kids, Parent Encouragement Program (PEP), My Gym Potomac, Stroller Strides, March of Dimes/March for Babies, The Breastfeeding Center, and MommyBlueprint.

p.s. Also on Saturday is the family-oriented Kentlands Day festival in Gaithersburg...More on that in Friday's "Weekend Watch" post.

Posted by Sarah at 1:39 PM. Permanent link to ""Celebrate Mama" event coming to downtown Bethesda."

April 28, 2009

Mother's Day gift from Let's Dish!

Have you given birth or adopted a baby in the past year? If so, you should take advantage of a special promotion at one of the five DC-area Let's Dish! locations. Their annual Salute to New Moms special will be offered May 5-23 to any of you who became a mama since Mother's Day last year (May 11, 2008).

To get a "free dinner for 2-3" from your neighborhood Let's Dish!, you just need to present a valid email address and proof of your baby's birth or adoption date. You'll get to pick among several meal choices to assemble your fave.

For more details, contact your L.D. location:

Alexandria (6550 Little River Turnpike, 703.750.0790)
Ashburn (44260 Ice Rink Plaza, 703.858.7900)
Fairfax (11215 Lee Hwy., 703.359.1450)
Columbia (6925 Oakland Mills Rd., 410.309.3415)
Baltimore (9602 Deereco Rd., 410.560.5634)

We found Let's Dish! to be a lifesaver during a tough pregnancy #2 and for several months after the birth of our son - so I gave them a big thumbs-up recommendation in DC BABY, Revised Second Edition. Gift certificates make great baby shower gifts, too.

Posted by Sarah at 1:41 PM. Permanent link to "Mother's Day gift from Let's Dish!."

April 20, 2009

THE face painter you must hire for your next kids' party!

Tigers.jpg

Last weekend we celebrated our daughter's birthday with a gang of 4- and 5-year-olds. It was a beautiful day to eat cupcakes and romp at the park...but the highlight was the discovery of our new favorite face painting artist for children, who was THE hit of the party. Erica Exline, who also happens to be a local mama of young children, was brilliantly talented, friendly and patient with the kids, and a great pleasure to work with.

Thumbs up - We love her work! And we're not talking about a lame little rainbow or smiley face drawn on your cheek (of the caliber I would personally produce, if asked to paint children's faces)... We're talking full-face paint that transforms the kids into the most creative, elaborate animals, princesses, fairies, butterflies, you name it. It was fun to watch our daughter and her party guests take on the "roles" of the animals and other characters they'd become, as they played happily and independently for a solid two hours and gave the parents the little leisure of chatting and eating leftover cupcakes.

Once upon a time I wrote rave reviews for local artist and face painter Greta Gonzalez, whose work I also love...but unfortunately she's moving out of the DC area. While I'm sad to see Greta go, I am thrilled to know about Erica's talent, and honored and to be able to give her a personal recommendation.

To get more info or to hire Erica Exline for your next party/festival/special event, send email to: erica-at-sweetcheeksfp.com, or call 703.946.0203. Visit her site at www.sweetcheeksfp.com. And tell her you were sent by her biggest fans at DC BABY.

Posted by Sarah at 8:40 PM. Permanent link to "THE face painter you must hire for your next kids' party!."

April 16, 2009

Ergo event + nursery sale @ Wiggle Room

Starts tomorrow! Our friends at Wiggle Room in Bethesda will host a nursery sale Friday the 17th through Sunday the 19th, featuring very-gently-used bassinets, gliders, crib bedding, pack & plays, etc. at fabulous prices.

Also this weekend, on Saturday the 18th, Wiggle Room will host a repeat of their popular Ergo Event, with a rare 10% discount on Ergo products (Saturday only) and a representative of the Ergo company on hand to answer your questions and do demonstrations/try-ons. You can also enter a drawing for a FREE Ergo baby carrier, as well as prizes from Hot Mama Fitness, Stroller Strides, and others. As I've mentioned on this blog many a time, the Ergo carrier was one of a small handful of truly inspired, saved-my-life products after having baby #2. Love it, love it.

New at Wiggle Room this spring are gently-loved clothes from Lilly Pulitzer and Burberry, along with gear like a Svan highchair and a Stokke crib. Looking to consign your own high-end stuff? Check their summer appontment calendar at www.wiggleroom.genbook.com.

Did I mention that my book is in stock @ Wiggle Room?

Posted by Sarah at 9:50 AM. Permanent link to "Ergo event + nursery sale @ Wiggle Room."

April 9, 2009

An ode to Imagination Stage

It's spring break from pre-k for my daughter this week. So yesterday I took her to see "Heidi" at Imagination Stage...and was reminded again why Bethesda, MD is one of the best cities for raising kids on the East Coast. A place like Imagination Stage is a rare gift to a community.

The "Heidi" production is fabulous (for ages five+), the theater is beautiful and state-of-the-art, and the entire facility is a joy to visit. We were helped by friendly staff every step of the way, enjoyed great eats from the on-site cafe, and had fun visiting their gift shop - which is truly one of THE best toy stores in the DC area (especially for dress-up/imaginative play and unique educational toys). Loves it, loves it, loves it. Well worth the drive, even for those of us coming from afar.

Advance tix are already on sale for Imagination Stage's summer production, "Lyle the Crocodile," (for ages four+) based on the popular children's books by Bernard Waber. And their Story Theatre program for ages two to four has been expanded, with more 30-40 minute performances suited to younger attention spans.

If you live in Bethesda, also be sure to check out their creative summer camps for ages four+.

Posted by Sarah at 12:51 PM. Permanent link to "An ode to Imagination Stage."

April 8, 2009

Hanna-Me-Downs at Montgomery Mall & Tysons Corner

For those of you who love the high-quality Hanna Andersson kids' clothes as much as we do: They're sponsoring a Hanna-Me-Downs event April 13-26 at their Montgomery Mall and Tysons Corner stores. Bring in your gently-used, good-condition Hannas, which will be passed along to local children in need, and get 20% off your purchase.

Your generous donations will be distributed with help from the United Way. A few no-no items: Swimwear, shoes, socks, and underwear.

As always, I advise that you give your store-of-choice a call before you go in, to verify and get any additional details.

Posted by Sarah at 2:29 PM. Permanent link to "Hanna-Me-Downs at Montgomery Mall & Tysons Corner."

April 6, 2009

Bunnyland is back

The 14th Annual Bunnyland at Butler's Orchard in Germantown, MD takes place April 9-13 and 18-19, with activities for kids running continuously from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

The eggstravaganza includes egg-hunting (bring your basket), a hayride, a rubber ducky derby, barnyard bunnies and chicks, inflatables and slides to play on, a hayromp, pedal tractors, pony rides and face painting (for an extra fee), and a big Country Bunny in costume. Food vendors will also be selling veggie pitas, popcorn, cookies, and other snacks. Admission: $7 per child, $5 per adult.

Be sure to dress for the weather - And call ahead to verify if they're open, if any weather-related doubt.

Posted by Sarah at 9:58 AM. Permanent link to "Bunnyland is back."

April 1, 2009

More free preview classes in Bethesda, Arlington

Two more FREE demo classes for families interested in these early childhood enrichment programs:

Hola Baby founder and instructor Maria Elena Greene will do a free demo class at Aladdin's Lamp children's bookstore in Arlington, tomorrow, Wednesday April 1, at 11 a.m. No RSVP needed. Hola Baby's spring session begins April 14, and spots are still available in a few of the classes.

And...This Friday, April 3, musiKids will host an open house with free trial classes at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. at their downtown Bethesda location. No reservations needed. Just show up.

If you know of additional preview classes for DC-area early childhood programs, you're welcome to post them in the "comments" after this entry.

Posted by Sarah at 4:20 PM. Permanent link to "More free preview classes in Bethesda, Arlington."

March 20, 2009

Weekend Watch: Celebrate spring with FREE dessert in Columbia Heights, + BABY film fest in Silver Spring

To celebrate the first day of spring, today, Friday the 20th is FREE Italian ice day at the fabulous and family-friendly Rita's Water Ice in NW Columbia Heights. Just stop by between 12 noon and 10 p.m. to receive your free regular size treat.

This new-to-us treasure of a destination opened in 2007 and is co-owned by local mama and DCB reader Tammy Davis. Located at 3237 14th St. NW (across from DC USA and Giant), Rita's serves frozen dessert ices in 42 flavors. Their ice is made fresh daily on-site, and they feature eight to 12 different flavors each day. Rita's also does frozen custard and additional desserts.

Perhaps the best part during tough times? A family of four can have homemade dessert at Rita's for under $15. Hard to find. You can reach Rita's Water Ice at 202.251.1014. Enjoy your free Friday afternoon or evening treat!

Also this weekend: The BABY International Film Festival and BABY Fair takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Crowne Plaza in Silver Spring. The event focuses on a progressive, new approach to the experiences of pregnancy, birth, and early parenting.

Posted by Sarah at 7:52 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Celebrate spring with FREE dessert in Columbia Heights, + BABY film fest in Silver Spring."

March 19, 2009

Children's portrait special @ the Tidal Basin

One of DCB's featured child/family photographers, Stacey Vaeth, is offering her annual "Cherry Blossom Mini-Session" on Saturday, April 4 between 7 and 10 a.m. at the Tidal Basin.

For the low, low sitting fee of $35 (which includes all images available online for ordering and sharing, and a 10% discount coupon toward a family session), Stacey will capture a portrait of your child that could only be taken in DC at cherry blossom time.

And get this: Stacey will provide animal crackers, juice, water, and a few blankets for you to relax on as you wait for your session - You're also welcome to bring your own picnic and toys.

Spaces are limited, so you need to RSVP pronto if you want to take part: info-at-staceyvaeth-dot-com or 202.276.2481.

Posted by Sarah at 11:06 AM. Permanent link to "Children's portrait special @ the Tidal Basin."

March 17, 2009

Thursday: Free bellydance class for moms in Bethesda

The Hot Mama Fitness Studio in downtown Bethesda is offering a FREE Hip Mama Bellydance class this Thursday, March 19 at 10:15 a.m.

Studio owner and personal trainer Vionna Jones says, "Toddlers are welcome in the class. Don't worry about what to wear. Come dressed in your workout clothes and have some fun!" Donations will be accepted for the studio's march of Dimes March for Babies fundraising team. A reporter from the Washington Post is expected at Thursday's free demo class.

They're also offering a Bellydance for Birth Preparation class this Saturday, March 21 at 12 noon, covering how bellydance can help ease discomforts during pregnancy and help to prepare you for labor and birth.

For more info or to register for either class, send email to: info-at-hotmamafitnessstudio-dot-com or call 301.560.0626.

Posted by Sarah at 8:34 PM. Permanent link to "Thursday: Free bellydance class for moms in Bethesda."

March 13, 2009

Weekend Watch: DC's St. Patrick's Day Parade + TotSwap consignment sale

This weekend, check out another parade and a massive consignment sale.

DC's St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place Sunday at 12 noon on Constitution Ave., from Seventh to 17th St. NW, with bagpipers, marching bands, Irish dancers, fire engines and vintage cars, motorcycles, military, and lots more.

And it's the massive TotSwap kids/baby/maternity consignment sale at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, today through Sunday. Free admission and lots of on-site activities, in addition to the bargain shopping on gear, clothing, toys, furniture, et al.

p.s. For those of you having trouble with the discount code for circus tix... Word I got back is that you need to be sure to enter the discount code into the correct field in the Ticketmaster system when you check out. The correct box to enter the code reads: MC Promotion. Hope this helps!

Posted by Sarah at 10:02 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: DC's St. Patrick's Day Parade + TotSwap consignment sale."

March 12, 2009

DC area loses one of its best resources for birthing women

In yet another sign that times are tough all over, I'm sad to report that the oustanding and innovative Doula Support Program for women giving birth at the nonprofit Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring is being eliminated due to budget cuts.

Women currently part of the program with due dates up to June 10, don't panic - You are still covered! But after June 10 due-dates, the program will cease to exist. Many of the doulas who have been serving at Holy Cross for years will now be available on a private, contract basis to women birthing there. And there are many other private doulas in the DC area who also take Holy Cross clients.

I applauded this program in both editions of my book as a feature that makes the DC area one of the most progressive places to give birth on the East Coast - just one of the myriad of options available to families here. Many women planned births at Holy Cross specifically because of the doula program.

If you're expecting a baby and considering hiring a doula for support (which I highly recommend, from personal experience!), please check out the pregnancy/birth/postpartum chapter of the Revised Second Edition of my book for referrals... and/or go to www.dona.org to look up DONA-trained doulas serving the DC area. Do your research as early as possible in the pregnancy.... they book up quickly!

Posted by Sarah at 10:19 AM. Permanent link to "DC area loses one of its best resources for birthing women."

March 9, 2009

Last day for celebratory book discount

Happy first birthday to my baby boy! Today is the last day to take advantage of the 25% off (+ free shipping) discount for online orders of the paperback, DC BABY: Revised Second Edition.

The new book's cover features a photo I took of my son when he was just a few months old. And how he has grown and changed since then. You mothers know what I mean when I say that the first year is the hardest, the most draining, and the most amazing time. More than any other phase of parenting, during that first year the days have a way of simultaneously grinding forward tediously and slipping away too quickly. And poof, suddenly babyhood is gone. Granted, I'm really ready to start regaining some freedom and sense of "myself" again...But he's my last baby, so these days do feel extra precious. [Sob!]

Posted by Sarah at 2:07 PM. Permanent link to "Last day for celebratory book discount."

March 5, 2009

Time for spring consignment sales

'Tis almost the season for spring consignment sales.

Thanks to DCB reader Lisa R. for tipping me off to the Montgomery County Parents of Multiples (MCPOM) Semi-Annual Children's Clothing and Gear Sale, set for Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Julius West Middle School in Rockville (651 Great Falls Rd.) Most items will be half-price near the end of the sale, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They'll have clothing (preemie to 5T, maternity, summer clothing, swimsuits), childproofing gear, strollers, high chairs, playpens, bathtubs, toys, furniture, and more. Cash and checks accepted. Admission at the door is $2/person, to benefit MCPOM, a not-for-profit organization. For more info, call 301.419.8008 or send email to: sale-at-mcpom-dot-org.

For more great spring consignment sales for maternity, baby, and kids' stuff, you've got to consult the local online bible for such things, courtesy of Our Kids. Their list is continually updated - So If you're involved with a sale not already listed there, be sure to email the Our Kids staff to have your event added.

Please also feel free to post a "comment" here, at the end of this blog post, to let DCB readers know about your own neighborhood sales!

Posted by Sarah at 10:38 AM. Permanent link to "Time for spring consignment sales."

March 4, 2009

Left Noodle-Right Noodle offers day camps & after-school fun for pre-k+

A new-to-me resource! Left Noodle-Right Noodle, which offers creative after-school and day-camp enrichment classes for ages pre-k through grade schoolers at sites throughout the NoVa and Montgomery County 'burbs.

Founded by Arlington moms/teachers/artists Moley Evans and Lola Lombard, Left Noodle-Right Noodle is now registering for Day Camps located at Arlington elementary campuses on Friday, March 6 and Friday, March 20 - as well as a Spring Break Camp April 6-10 at an Arlington middle school. Sibling discounts are available, and the kids will enjoy theme-based games and fun, art projects, movement, and a pizza lunch.

To get more info, to register, or to find out how to bring Left Noodle-Right Noodle programming to your neighborhood school, send email to: moleyevans-at-yahoo-dot-com.

Thanks to DCB reader Heather A., for letting me know about this great program!

Posted by Sarah at 11:25 AM. Permanent link to "Left Noodle-Right Noodle offers day camps & after-school fun for pre-k+."

February 26, 2009

Can you help? Need gently-used cribs & baby items for local families

Have baby stuff you've outgrown? Can you give it a new home? A fabulous local nonprofit group, A Wider Circle, is in need of cribs and baby items for low-income moms and infants.

Cribs and gently-used baby items in good condition can be dropped off at their Center for Community Service in Silver Spring (9159-C Brookville Rd., 20910) - OR you can call to schedule a pick-up of items that can not be dropped off. Send email to: contact-at-awidercircle-dot-org.

Here's the scoop I received on the situation and the needs:

"Mothers having to put their babies in laundry baskets to sleep - that is what one local agency told us they have to advise these days. They and many other agencies just can not find the cribs they need. But we know there are enough gently used cribs in good condition in our homes, and I am hoping you can help us to get them in the hands of these young moms.

"We have received more than a half dozen calls in the last week from agencies that can no longer find or provide basic need/essential items for young mothers and their babies. Fortunately we have been able to respond with cribs, changing tables, strollers, etc. We will continue to respond with the grassroots, volunteer-led system we have in place for other furniture and home goods, and we are creating partnerships with some of the agencies that have called so we can work together to ensure their clients get what they need."

Hope some of you generous DCB readers might be able to help!

Posted by Sarah at 11:49 AM. Permanent link to "Can you help? Need gently-used cribs & baby items for local families."

February 23, 2009

Spring Break camps for preschoolers

We've compiled a few of our favorite Spring Break day-camp options for preschoolers:

Andy's Parties will offer Spring Break Camp the week of April 6-13 at their Gaithersburg and Great Falls locations. Half-day programs for ages three to six meet in the morning, while older kids, ages five to eight, have camp in the afternoon. You can participate just one day, or the entire week.

The Tiny Dancers preschool dance program offers a Bunny Hop Camp April 6-10 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, with games, crafts, and treats in addition to the dancing fun.

Several of the metro-area YMCA locations are offering Spring Break Camps for preschoolers and older kids. Check with your neighborhood branch office for details.

Know of others? Please post a "comment" after this blog post to share the info with DCB readers.

Posted by Sarah at 1:05 PM. Permanent link to "Spring Break camps for preschoolers."

February 20, 2009

Weekend Watch: "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" on stage

CORRECTION: Just got word that the email we received from the organizers of The Great Zucchini event had the wrong date listed for the show! It actually takes place on Saturday, MARCH 7, at 10:30 a.m. Our sincere apologies to any DCB readers who were inconvenienced by this error.

This weekend a new production of one of our favorite children's books opens in Maryland, and rock-star magician The Great Zucchini performs in Georgetown as a fundraiser to help rebuild that neighborhood's beloved public library.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..., adapted from the popular kids' book, makes its stage debut this weekend (and runs through March 20) at the fabulous Adventure Theater in Glen Echo Park. Our advice for first-timers attending a show at Adventure Theater: Buy your tix well in advance, and get there EARLY for the best seat. The theater typically fills up rapidly as soon as the doors open, and the riser-style seating is first come, first served.

The Great Zucchini will perform a show geared toward toddlers to six-year-olds at Dumbarton United Methodist church (on Dumbarton St. just east of Wiconsin), Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Admission is $25 per family, to benefit the Georgetown Library Recover Fund and earmarked for the rebuilt library's children's room. Tix available in advance or at the door. Send email to: georgetownprojects-at-gmail-dot-com.

Posted by Sarah at 10:38 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" on stage."

February 17, 2009

Free life-coaching session for mamas

Local professional life coach Amy Goslee recently launched her own coaching practice, focused on the needs of moms. And she's offering a FREE 30-minute sample coaching session for those of you curious about the coaching relationship and how it can help you.

Amy's work focuses on dealing with and triumphing over the common feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious as mothers, and addresses the overlooked personal needs that can affect all areas of mothers' lives.

The website for Amy's practice, Embracing Transformation, is under construction. You can also contact her at 703.568.1763 or by email at: agoslee-at-embracingtransformation-dot-net.

Posted by Sarah at 1:25 PM. Permanent link to "Free life-coaching session for mamas."

February 13, 2009

Weekend Watch: Washington's Birthday Parade in Old Town

This Valentine's and Presidents Day weekend, the hot ticket for kids is George Washington's Birthday Parade on Monday the 16th in Old Town Alexandria from 1 to 3 p.m. It's the biggest parade celebrating Washington's birthday in the U.S. And, with any luck, the weather will cooperate for the parade, whose route starts at S. St. Asaph at Wilkes St. and ends at the intersection of Fairfax and Gibbons Sts.

To celebrate the holiday, historic sites in Old Town will be open and FREE of charge on Monday, including the Friendship Firehouse Museum on S. Alfred St., Gasby's Tavern Museum on N. Royal, and the Lyceum on S. Washington St. Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the History Center and Museum Store (101 N. Union St.), local children's author Cheryl Barnes will be on hand to sign copies of her books Alexander the Old Town Mouse, Woodrow the White House Mouse, Woodrow for President, and President Adams' Alligator, all of which will be available for purchase. And kids can have their picture taken with Woodrow, the White House Mouse, while they're there.

Can't make it on Monday? Mt. Vernon is hosting its own Breakfast with George and "America's Smallest Hometown Parade," complete with fife and drum and "General Washington" himself, Saturday and Sunday.

p.s. Don't forget the V-Day Gustafer Yellowgold show at the Avalon Theater. Tix are still available. And tomorrow is your LAST DAY for the 25% discount + free shipping for online orders of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition.

Posted by Sarah at 10:57 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Washington's Birthday Parade in Old Town."

February 12, 2009

New: Song & activity books from Classic TNT

Classic Tales 'n Tunes, reviewed in DC BABY as one of the best early childhood enrichment programs in the DC area, has published two new books of songs, rhymes, and activities for the whole family - a perfect antidote to the cold, cabin-fevered winter weather scheduled to return any minute now.

Both books include selected works in English with Spanish adaptations, American Sign Language (ASL) and colorful art and photographs. More than 100 photos of ASL signs are included in each book, as well as a Spanish pronunciation guide. Ideal for infants to age six. We have the first of the books at home, and have found it a fun resource for cooped-up days.

You can preview the books, read reviews, and purchase at the Classic Tales 'n Tunes site.

Posted by Sarah at 3:28 PM. Permanent link to "New: Song & activity books from Classic TNT."

February 9, 2009

Happy V-Day from DCB

We heart our readers. So, as our valentine thank-you, it's 25% off + free shipping on website orders of the paperback DC BABY, Revised Second Edition - this week only, through Saturday, February 14.

Thanks for your 3+ years of supporting a local mom-author! Your readership and friendship makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Posted by Sarah at 2:57 PM. Permanent link to "Happy V-Day from DCB."

February 6, 2009

Weekend Watch: Old-fashioned lantern show & Locks of Love benefit

Saturday and Sunday, the National Gallery of Art hosts a FREE Kids' Magic-Lantern Show for ages four+ and their families. Staged by Terry Borton of the American Magic-Lantern Theater, it's an authentic late-nineteenth-century big-screen production of the type that preceded silent movies. The show includes favorite Victorian stories like Alice in Wonderland and sing-alongs including "Old MacDonald." Show time is 11:30 a.m. both days.

Also this weekend...On Saturday, Bella Bethesda salon hosts a (free) kick-off party launching their week-long benefit for the fabulous national nonprofit organization Locks of Love, which provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 18 with medical hair loss due to disease, burns, and cancer. Because of the great response from the community, Bella was able to donate a total of 640 inches of hair to Locks of Love, which helped more than 2,000 children across the country.

Last year there was great participation from Bethesda-area schoolchildren, and this year a number of students from an elementary in Bethesda plan to come to Bella to donate their hair. On Saturday to kick off the benefit, Bella Bethesda will offer free treatments and discount deals on hair products. And throughout next week, individuals who donate 10 or more inches of hair will receive a free haircut, blow dry and a makeover. For those interested in donating but who do not have 10 inches yet, Bella will offer a pledge board, so individuals can redeem their free makeover and donate their hair later in the year.

Posted by Sarah at 2:49 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Old-fashioned lantern show & Locks of Love benefit."

February 4, 2009

Podcast: Amy Miller on Parents' Perspective radio show

The fabulous Amy Miller, local mama and owner of our favorite resource, Our Kids, was just on the national radio show Parents' Perspective, discussing outings and activities with and for kids of all ages. And she very kindly gave a shout-out to DC BABY as a resource for Washingtonians, as well as for tourists visiting DC! (We are very flattered.)

Amy also shared some of her favorite locally-owned and -operated websites and publications for finding activities in major cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, NYC, Seattle, and San Francisco. And she gives some great tips on finding and enjoying age-appropriate fun, wherever you live - and how to find a healthy balance between scheduled fun vs. free play and unstructured downtime.

Lots of great insights you'll want to hear: Listen to the podcast here.

Posted by Sarah at 4:09 PM. Permanent link to "Podcast: Amy Miller on Parents' Perspective radio show."

January 29, 2009

Weekend Watch: New kid-friendly ice rink, & Chinese New Year parade

While we're reveling in all things cold and wintry: The new outdoor ice skating rink is open at Rockville Town Square, located downtown across from the Regal theater and a block from the Rockville metro station. The rink uses a synthetic, environmentally-friendly ice that is said to be more safe and forgiving for children and beginners.

Also this weekend, the Chinese New Year Parade in DC's Chinatown takes place Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., with the giant firecracker scheduled to go off at 3:45. Head to H St. NW, between 6th and 8th Sts. The Chinese dragon dances are beautiful. And it's FREE.

Posted by Sarah at 1:42 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: New kid-friendly ice rink, & Chinese New Year parade."

January 28, 2009

This Saturday: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo @ Jammin' Java

Get your tickets now: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will perform his live show for kids at Jammin' Java this Saturday, January 31 at 10:30 a.m. Tix are $8.

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's positive hip hop, a.k.a. "KID HOP," is showcased on his hot-selling, one-year-old debut release, "Easy," which has been number one on XMKids and Kids Korner, reviewed by Cookie magazine as "a revelation," and praised by OutwiththeKids.com in Philly as "one tremendous musical experience."

He's known for genre-bending production and great storytelling, putting on a dance party mixing classic breaks with fun, reggae, and even bluegrass. Adults who really know hip hop will appreciate the writing and delivery, but the kids will appreciate the dragons, mermaids, robots, and sea monsters. Secret Agent 23 Skiddoo was a professional, nationally-touring hip hop artist long before he became a dad and created a niche especially for the wee ones - So he knows what he's doing.

Take a listen at www.secretagent23skidoo.com.

Posted by Sarah at 9:42 AM. Permanent link to "This Saturday: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo @ Jammin' Java."

January 27, 2009

Wanted: Your changing station reviews & news

A couple of ingenious local parents have put together a new website that researches and rates local diaper-changing facilities in restaurants and shopping areas.

It's ChangingStationEvaluation.com, and they'd love to have your input! Know of a great changing spot in the DC area - or want to warn others away from places that are lacking, or particularly foul? Help them help others via this handy compilation of insider knowledge.

As those of you who bought the first edition of my book (back in 2005-2006) will remember, I included a brief and thoroughly unscientific "Changing Table Tour," reviewing a random sampling of public baby-changing facilities throughout DC and its suburbs. The results were mixed... but I understand at least one of the major offenders has made significant improvements since I gave them the thumbs down. (Connection? I'd like to think so!)

Three+ years after my Changing Table Tour, your mileage may vary. But at the time, I gave thumbs-up to the facilities at Nordstrom's department stores (especially Pentagon City and Tyson's), the National Museum of Natural History, Buy Buy Baby stores in Springfield and Rockville, Babies R Us locations throughout the area, Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Barnes & Noble on Rockville Pike, and the Chinquapin Rec Center in Alexandria.

The National Cathedral facilities got mixed reviews, as did many Starbucks locations (which are hit-or-miss). At the time, the big thumbs-downs went to RFK Stadium, the Tenleytown McDonald's on Wisconsin Ave., Dulles Airport, and American City Diner on Connecticut Ave. I'm told that RFK mended its ways about a year after the first edition of my book came out. (Bravo!)

Posted by Sarah at 1:44 PM. Permanent link to "Wanted: Your changing station reviews & news."

January 26, 2009

In memory of Lisa Flaxman, local mom & founder of musiKids

I'm saddened to share the news that community leader, Chevy Chase mom, and founder/president of the wildly popular musiKids program Lisa Flaxman has died after a valiant battle with breast cancer. Lisa leaves behind her three children and husband, as well as a strong legacy as an advocate for kids and a patron of the local arts.

To honor Lisa's life and continue her work, you can contribute to the Lisa J. Flaxman MusiKares Fund for the Celebration of the Performing Arts, through the Montgomery County Community Fund. The funding will be used to support performing arts celebrations, elementary school artist-in-residence programs, public school performances, and scholarships for local students to attend performing arts institutions or to gain access to private arts instruction. You can donate online - or make a check payable to "Lisa J. Flaxman MusiKares Fund/MCCF" and mailed to:

Lisa J. Flaxman MusiKares Fund/MCCF
c/o The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Attention: Kenny Emson
1201 15th St. NW, Suite 420
Washington, D.C. 20005

Our thoughts and prayers are with Lisa's family. She will be missed.

Posted by Sarah at 1:54 PM. Permanent link to "In memory of Lisa Flaxman, local mom & founder of musiKids."

January 22, 2009

Children's parties, Confetti-style

A fantastic new-to-me resource for stress-free, fun, and memorable kids' soirees: Confetti Event Planning, based out of Alexandria to serve the DC metro area, founded and operated by attorney-mom Brandy Falk.

Confetti's high-profile clients have included CEOs and the U.S. military, but the parties Brandy creates for children and families are extra-special works of art, with themes like "Ahoy Matey," "Pink Princess Tea," "Safari Soiree," "Garden Fairies," "Barnyard Bash," "Under the Sea," and "Picasso Paints."

Depending upon your needs, Confetti does some - or all - of the party-planning, invitations, decorations, entertainment, favors, and food for your event. And they can handle parties held in your own home or at another location of your choice. Confetti's online photo album, which includes several shots from their children's parties, is a must-see!

Posted by Sarah at 10:10 AM. Permanent link to "Children's parties, Confetti-style."

January 16, 2009

Weekend Watch: Children's Theater Fest, & National Day of Service

Get warm and cozy on Saturday at the Children's Theater Festival in Rosslyn, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Rosslyn Spectrum. It's an all-day lineup of bilingual English-Spanish theater and fun from Teatro de la Luna, with activities including face painting, puppet-making, arts and crafts, and storytelling. Children ages four and under get in FREE.

Also during this long MLK and inauguration holiday weekend...If you're thinking of taking part in the National Day of Service to honor Dr. King, check out the online listings of opportunities and events happening across the DC metro area. Some are kid-friendly and would make for a good day out together as a family. In DC, click here. For those who live in the suburbs, enter your zipcode at this national website to look up the Day of Service events near you.

Posted by Sarah at 10:51 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Children's Theater Fest, & National Day of Service."

January 12, 2009

It's sale season

Now that the holidays are past and retailers are starting to focus on spring inventory, several of the boutiques recommended in my book(s) are hosting nifty sales. Here's a sampling:

The Pajama Squid's 30% off sale is on now, for both clothing and shoes, in their Takoma Park boutique AND online.

In our own 'hood, Pink & Brown's 30 to 50% off sale is underway now.

Also in our 'hood, Apple Seed has significant markdowns on maternity clothing, baby and toddler clothing, Hotslings, and more - BOTH in-store in Old Town and online.

In Bethesda, a clearance sale is now underway at Wiggle Room.

Piccolo Piggies in Georgetown and Bethesda currently has its clothing AND shoes marked down 30 to 60%.

Dawn Price Baby's semi-annual "crawl, walk, run sale" at both locations (Georgetown and Cap Hill/Eastern Market) goes now through March 15. Current discounts are 30 percent off, but will increase to 40 percent off in early February and 50 to 75 percent off after February 20. Best selection early on, deepest discounts later on.

If you know of other good local sales for maternity, infants, and kids, feel free to share them by posting a "comment" here at the blog entry.

Posted by Sarah at 9:44 AM. Permanent link to "It's sale season."

January 7, 2009

Kids @ the inauguration: Crazy, or what?

So here we are, locals living a stone's throw away from one of the biggest moments in American history. And we have kids.

I know I'm not alone in entertaining two lines of thought about the situation. They go something like this: 1) We MUST take our pre-k-age daughter to see this moment she'll tell her children and grandchildren about, and watching it on TV while we sit a few miles from the action is lame and lazy, 2) We are INSANE to consider taking our pre-k-age daughter into this crowd-control/security/transportation nightmare amid 2.5 million tourists in the dead of winter.

I don't know yet what I'll decide. And I'm not lucky or important enough to have tix to the swearing-in, so that's not an issue - It's the parade and the other unticketed mayhem I've been pondering. If you, like me, are trying to do the due-diligence and make an informed decision about taking children, of any age, to inaugural celebrations, here are a few online resources you should consult:

Comprehensive "Getting There" guide to deciding if you should attend - and planning your trip to the inauguration

Overview of several official events, including a lower-key thing @ the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday the 18th

Advisory for parents of young children attending swearing-in ceremony

Spectator info for the parade

Using the metro system during inauguration week

Issues affecting District of Columbia residents during inauguration week

Info on a free youth concert @ the Verizon Center on Monday the 19th (complete info forthcoming, but you can sign up for email updates)

More on the Verizon Center kids' concert from the Post

Tips for families from Chesapeake Family magazine

Nickelodeon kids' cable channel coverage of the inauguration

Know of other important info or resources on this topic? Please share with the rest of us by posting your "comment" at the end of this blog entry.

p.s. Tix to the children's inaugural ball hosted by the NCM are now SOLD OUT!

Posted by Sarah at 1:15 PM. Permanent link to "Kids @ the inauguration: Crazy, or what?."

January 5, 2009

New must-know resource: Mommy Blueprint

A new resource based out of Silver Spring, founded by three mamas (and sisters): Mommy Blueprint produces handy tablets and notepads for organizing your parenting and family life. A step beyond that crowded daytimer you're lugging around. Brilliant little tools, they are!

But in addition to their products, Mommy Blueprint also hosts an online community, e-newsletter, and blog where they share organizing and time-saving tips - as well as plentiful freebies you can take advantage of. No purchase necessary to enjoy these free perks.

Posted by Sarah at 9:43 AM. Permanent link to "New must-know resource: Mommy Blueprint."

December 30, 2008

Last chance for Holiday Shopper discounts

It's your LAST CHANCE to take advantage of the discounts offered in our Holiday Shopper! Among the deals you can redeem through December 31st only:

15% off online orders of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition - PLUS free shipping

15% off your entire order from The Silken Thread (use code DCBABY08 at checkout)

20% off one item at Apple Seed (print our Holiday Shopper page and bring with you to the store to redeem)

20% off Serena & Lily nursery bedding at Red Barn Mercantile, in-store or online (print the page, or enter code serenalily at checkout)

15% off one item at Pink & Brown (print our Holiday Shopper page and bring with you to the store to redeem)

Complimentary mani and pedi with the purchase of a gift certificate from Hela Spa

$75 credit on a photo session booked with pregnancy/child/family photographer Elizabeth Dranitzke of PHOTOPIA

Discounted private/small-group infant/child CPR class from Safe Start Baby (just $40 per person) when you mention DC BABY and book by December 31st

Happy New Year!

Posted by Sarah at 2:51 PM. Permanent link to "Last chance for Holiday Shopper discounts."

December 23, 2008

Live theater for preschoolers, January & February at Imagination Stage

Something fun in the New Year: Imagination Stage in downtown Bethesda is bringing back performances geared toward preschoolers, with a busy schedule January 21-February 14.

Their StoryTheatre program, which features three artists in four weeks, is a series of 30-minute morning performances for children ages two to four. Tix are just $7, and should be purchased in advance by calling 301.280.1660.

The lineup:

Wednesday-Saturday, January 21-24, Alison Gee in Beatrice Pickles - Pirate, Princess and Mermaid Tales.
Wednesday-Saturday, January 28-31, Diane Macklin, another popular storyteller returning to Imagination Stage with multicultural stories, chants, songs, and movement.
Wednesday-Saturday, February 4-7 and February 11-14, The Shadow Puppet Workshop. Daniel Barash uses the ancient art of shadow puppetry to bring to life stories and folktales from around the world.

The series will make an April/May return with environmentally-themed children's music and African drumming, songs, stories, and games.

Posted by Sarah at 2:40 PM. Permanent link to "Live theater for preschoolers, January & February at Imagination Stage."

December 22, 2008

Kid's Days @ Lebanese Taverna in Bethesda & Arlington

The fabulous and child-friendly Lebanese Taverna local chain of restaurants has added new Kid's Day events at its downtown Bethesda location. On Tuesdays they host live children's music performed by local favorites from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch... and kids eat FREE with an adult meal.

Thanks to local mama and Lebanese Taverna co-owner Grace Abi-Najm Shea for sharing the December and January lineup for Bethesda:

Tuesday, December 23: The Banjo Man
Tuesday, December 30: Miss Belle
Tuesday, January 6: Oh Susannah
Tuesday, january 13: Mr. Nate
Tuesday, January 20: Miss Belle
Tuesday, January 27: The Banjo Man

Lebanese Taverna also hosts weekly Kid's Days at the Arlington location, Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Posted by Sarah at 8:49 AM. Permanent link to "Kid's Days @ Lebanese Taverna in Bethesda & Arlington."

December 17, 2008

New resource: Preschools guide for Montgomery County, MD

Great new resource for Montgomery County parents: The MCPOM has published a comprehensive preschool guide. A must-have for anyone beginning the preschool search - or looking to swtich schools - in suburban Maryland.

The 80-page guide will be available for purchase starting this Sunday, December 21. It contains detailed info on approx. 250 preschools in Montgomery County, and a few in nearby Washington, DC - including program offerings, affiliation/teaching philosophies, admission priorities and processes, interview requirements, tuition rates, app fees, sibling discounts, and application timeslines.

Schools are listed alphabetically but are also cross-referenced by geographic area and philosophy/affilitation. The guide contains important and helpful information on different types of preschools, steps in the preschool search, questions to ask during visits to preschools, practical advice from parents who have gone through the preschool search and how children can best prepare to enter kindergarten.

Copies of the guide are $10 plus $2.50 postage, and may be purchased with PayPal or a check. They start mailing out to purchasers next Monday, December 22, and will also be distributed on Sunday at a location in Rockville. Proceeds help to fund club services and support to families with multiples in the DC area.

For more information and to purchase your copy of the guide, go to www.mcpom.org. Direct questions to: mcpom-at-mcpom-dotorg or 301.419.8008.

Posted by Sarah at 1:29 PM. Permanent link to "New resource: Preschools guide for Montgomery County, MD."

December 12, 2008

Weekend Watch: Hanukkah fun, + Christmas live nativity on the Hill

UPDATE: How great is the interfaith friendliness of DCB readers? I love it. Thanks to Deborah S., who passed a sign for this on her way to the Washington Hebrew Congregation and sent the info my way: On Sundays December 14th & 21st from 6 to 8 p.m., Christ Church on Embassy Row in DC is hosting an outdoor "Living Nativity." Petting zoo animals, live characters, music, cookies, hot chocolate, and good cheer. Sounds like it'll be v. child-oriented.

To all of you who celebrate it, Happy Hanukkah! There's a ton of kid-oriented fun for the holiday this weekend. Here are our favorite picks:

The Washington DCJCC at 16th and Q Sts. in the District will host its Community Hanukkah Celebration on Sunday, the 14th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a recommended donation of $10-15 per family, your children can enjoy a sing-along with kids' musician Joanie Leeds, arts and crafts, face painting, dreidel games, and faux tattoos.

On Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., Chevy Chase Pavilion's Hanukkah Celebration features the Lox and Vodka klezmer band, dreidel games, blaloon sculptures, and arts and crafts. Free admission.

And at the JCC of Greater Washington in Rockville on Sunday from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Hands-On Hanukkah will feature edible treats, arts and crafts, a treasure hunt for school-age kids, and more. The event will have a range of activities for ages two+. Adults and toddlers under age two get in free. Kids ove rage two are $7 each 9with a $20 per family max).

Also this weekend, families who celebrate Christmas will enjoy a live nativity scene and Christmas pageant at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill. Saturday, the 13th, from 4 to 6 p.m. We're told there will be beautiful choir music, live animals, a manger scene, and hot chocolate and cookies served. Free admission. Sponsored by National Community Church and Ebeneezer's Coffee.

Do you know of other Hanukkah or Christmas events for kids and families happening this weekend? You can share them with other readers by filling in the "comment" field below this blog post. Don't be shy, people! Others would really appreciate hearing from you, and I'd love for all of us to make better use of this interactive feature on the DCB site. Happy holidays!

Posted by Sarah at 2:08 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Hanukkah fun, + Christmas live nativity on the Hill."

December 10, 2008

Discount from Onesies DC

Onesies DC - about which I wrote a glowing review in the revised second edition of my book - is offering a 15% discount on their winter session if you register before December 20. (They're also offering program gift cards, which make nice holiday presents for new mothers.)

Onesies DC is six weeks of a rotating sampling of DC-area enrichment programs, with plenty of opportunity to make new playdate friends during the ride. As I say in the newest edition of DC BABY: "Brilliant! Long overdue!...This innovative program exposes both newbie and veteran moms to a wide variety of early childhood and parent ed opportunities...saving potentialy expensive trial-and-error while making new friends...No commitment needed to a single program or a long session that might or might not turn out to be the right fit. Onesies DC partners with local favorites like PEP and Hot Mama Fitness to offer you a smorgasboard of baby fun."

Among its many other program partners, Onesies DC has recently joined forces with the JCC of Greater Washington and with Kidville (a popular new import from NYC). So their lineup is continually expanding. Hope some of you will be able to take advantage of the winter discount.

Posted by Sarah at 2:39 PM. Permanent link to "Discount from Onesies DC."

December 9, 2008

Tree Top Kids, now in Friendship Heights

Thanks to Sonya S. for tipping me off to this one: There's a new Tree Top Kids location at Chevy Chase Pavilion in Friendship Heights. On Wisconsin Ave., on the bottom level of the mall across the street from Mazza Gallerie, next to World Market.

Sonya and I agree that this is a long-overdue addition to Friendship Heights, since there's been little in the way of children's shopping in the neighborhood. And if you've never been to a Tree Top Kids store, now's the time. They're a great independent local retail chain featured in both editions of my book. They carry a big selection of toys, games, arts and crafts supplies, books, baby and kids' clothing, accessories and gifts. And they host some of the best in-store events in the DC area - many of them free.

In addition to the new Friendship Heights location, you'll find Tree Top Kids in the AU Park neighborhood at Foxhall Square, in Potomac at Cabin John Mall, in Bethesda at Wildwood Shopping Center, additional spots in Maryland, and throughout NoVa (with stores in Arlington, McLean, Falls Church, Fairfax, etc.). To find the TTK nearest you, click here.

Posted by Sarah at 1:13 PM. Permanent link to "Tree Top Kids, now in Friendship Heights."

December 4, 2008

Kids Eat Free - with Santa - @ Austin Grill

As anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows, deep down I'm still an Austin girl, even after years in Washington. We eat at Austin Grill in Old Town with perhaps alarming frequency - It's as close as I can get to "home food" in DC, and they are exceptionally kid-friendly.

This month they're hosting "Kids Eat Free" evenings with Santa Claus (including photo opps w/ the bearded man) at several DC-area locations:

Friday, December 12 at the Centreville, VA Austin Grill
Wednesday, December 17 at the Silver Spring, MD Austin Grill
Wednesday, December 17 at the Springfield, VA Austin Grill
Thursday, December 18 at the downtown Bethesda, MD Austin Grill
Thursday, December 18 at the Old Town Alexandria, VA Austin Grill
Thursday, December 18 at the Annapolis, MD Austin Grill

Happy Tex-Mex Xmas.

Posted by Sarah at 10:25 AM. Permanent link to "Kids Eat Free - with Santa - @ Austin Grill."

December 3, 2008

Thumbs up for holiday children's theater @ Glen Echo Park

I really believe that live theater and live music - when they're done well - are some of the best things I can expose my children to. And we're v. lucky here in DC to have loads of talent in the theater department. Last weekend, in what's become an annual tradition for our family, I took my daughter to see the gorgeous performance of The Nutcracker produced by the Puppet Co. Playhouse at Glen Echo Park. They're such pros, and the costuming and set design alone are worth the trip. I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to reviews, but this is Magical. Go see it. Recommended for ages five+, BUT our child has been enjoying this show since she was three years old. And I saw a number of younger preschoolers in the audience.

Also at Glen Echo, the fabulous Adventure Theatre is staging Frosty the Snowman, this Saturday through January 4. We really enjoyed Babe, the Sheep Pig last summer, so we're looking forward to another visit. They're also offering a full lineup of theater-for-kids classes and workshops for ages two+ (the youngest preschoolers participate with a parent or caregiver).

Enjoy.

Posted by Sarah at 10:06 AM. Permanent link to "Thumbs up for holiday children's theater @ Glen Echo Park."

November 28, 2008

Special discount from Pineapple Grove

Local-mama-owned Pineapple Grove Gifts is offering a special discount to DCB readers this holiday season: 15% off online purchases. Just enter discount code CUSOON15 at checkout.

We love their personalized gifts (especially the children's plates) for holiday giving... as well as their fun selection of stationary and papers, and sweet hair clips for girls.

Happy shopping.

Posted by Sarah at 6:44 PM. Permanent link to "Special discount from Pineapple Grove."

November 27, 2008

More Black Friday sales

Three more post-Thanksgiving sales you should know about: At Dawn Price Baby, with two locations in DC (Capitol Hill near Eastern Market and M St. in Georgetown), Wiggle Room in Bethesda, and Pink & Brown in Old Town.

Friday only, Dawn Price Baby is offering 20% off fall and winter clothing, furniture floor models, bedding, and other select items.

All weekend, Friday through Sunday, Wiggle Room is offering 15% off ALL Melissa & Doug toys. We love these. They're classic, safe, colorful... and non-plastic. Wiggle Room just got a new shipment of M&D toys, including blocks and puzzles, so the stock is plentiful.

Friday only, Pink & Brown is offering 15% off your total purchase from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Their only exclusions are furniture, mattresses, and strollers.

Happy Turkey Day.

Posted by Sarah at 8:44 AM. Permanent link to "More Black Friday sales."

November 23, 2008

New discounts added to the Holiday Shopper, + Black Friday sale in Old Town

Two additions since our Holiday Shopper went live last week: 20% off all Serena & Lily nursery bedding at Red Barn Mercantile, and 15% off the cover price of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition in paperback (plus free shipping!).

You can shop the fabulous Red Barn Mercantile online (use coupon code "serenalily" at checkout to redeem your 20% off), or at their store in Old Town, next door to Apple Seed (which is offering 20% off any one item in the store).

If you plan to shop for bargains the day after Thanksgiving, several of the best Old Town retailers are participating in a Black Friday Sale - A great alternative to crowded malls and big-box stores. If you shop in any of the Old Town Boutique District's member stores on November 28, you get 10% off your entire purchase at all the other participating stores. So... If you buy something at Apple Seed, you pay full price. But then you go to Red Barn and get 10% off your entire purchase. And then you go down King St. to Nina's Closet and get 10% off everything you buy. And so on and son on. No limit on how many stores you can redeem your 10% off at. But it's one day ONLY. So strike while that iron's hot.

Posted by Sarah at 7:13 PM. Permanent link to "New discounts added to the Holiday Shopper, + Black Friday sale in Old Town."

November 21, 2008

Weekend Watch: Ice skating, parade, & free kids' yoga

This weekend: Cold weather fun on the National Mall, a Thanksgiving parade in Silver Spring, and free kids' classes in Alexandria.

Downtown, the outdoor ice skating rink at the National Gallery's sculpture garden is OPEN for the season. Saturdays the skating starts at 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. on Sundays. Enjoy the music while you're teaching the little ones to skate, and grab a hot chocolate or cider at the pavilion cafe next to the rink. While you're in the neighborhood, you can check out the grand re-opening (at last) of the Museum of American History, with special activities planned for all ages.

On Saturday, Silver Spring holds its annual Thanksgiving Parade from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Huge helium balloons, floats, and marching bands.

Sunday in Del Ray, Alexandria, the fabulous new Mind the Mat studio offers two FREE classes: Kids' Yoga at 4:15 p.m. (ages 5-8) - and if you happen to have an older child, check out their free Tween Yoga at 3:30 (ages 9-12).

Posted by Sarah at 9:03 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Ice skating, parade, & free kids' yoga."

November 20, 2008

Special discount from JuneBee Baby

We love love love the sweet and soft handknitted clothes from JuneBee Baby. And they're offering a special discount to DCB readers, through December 31: Enter promo code HOLIDAY08 for 25% off your order of anything in their stock, which includes sizes 0-6 months to 3T. Plus, free shipping on all domestic orders

JuneBee Baby is a mom-founded online boutique whose products are handmade with 100% natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, cashmere, and wool - Each piece is one-of-a-kind. They've been featured recently by American Baby magazine, The Daily Stroll, Urban Baby, and SheFinds. As the Urban Baby reviewer says, "Designs are whimsical and classic; most styles feature hand crocheted decorations..All are soft and cozy, can be dressed up or down, and are hand-me-down worthy. Keep in mind they'll be plenty of time for ironic T-shirts, designer jeans, and cropped shirts in loud colors when they're tweens, but the era of sweet strawberry pockets passes quickly."

Enjoy the discount!

Posted by Sarah at 11:45 AM. Permanent link to "Special discount from JuneBee Baby."

November 17, 2008

Great deals in the DC BABY Holiday Shopper

It's live! Check out our 2008 Holiday Shopper for some nice perks this shopping season.

Among the special offers for DC BABY readers:

* 15% off an item at Pink & Brown
* 20% off an item at Apple Seed
* 15% off an entire order from The Silken Thread
* $75 credit on a photo session with Elizabeth Dranitzke of PHOTOPIA, when you book by 11/30. (Some recent pics of our own little fam are now on Elizabeth's blog, where you can see samples of her beautiful work. We are happy clients!)
* Complimentary manicure/pedicure with the purchase of a gift certificate from Hela Spa
* And in the practical-and-important-department: A private, small-group CPR class discount from Safe Start Baby - Just $40/person (when you mention DC BABY and book by 12/31)
* + more!

Thanks to these local, independent retailers (and artist!) for offering great deals to our readers - I hope you'll support them with your holiday shopping dollars.

If you are a local retailer or service provider serving children/pregnant gals/families and would like a spot in the Holiday Shopper, drop us a line at: sales(at)dc-baby(dot)com.

Posted by Sarah at 4:48 PM. Permanent link to "Great deals in the DC BABY Holiday Shopper."

November 16, 2008

Ticket giveaway! Author Dr. Edward Hallowell in Potomac

UPDATE: There was a huge response to this ticket raffle! Thanks to all of you who entered. I drew the following winners' names: Moira S. (for one ticket) and Dominique M. (for one ticket). Congrats - and enjoy Dr. Hallowell's talk!

In conjunction with PEP, we're giving away TWO FREE TIX to see noted child development and parenting author Dr. Edward Hallowell this Wednesday night, November 19, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Potomac, MD.

Dr. Hallowell's talk, "Five Keys to Raising Motivated, Positive, Capable Kids" is drawn from his book, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness and "focuses on what parents can do today that really matters toward raising kids who are happy tomorrow." He is featured in this month's Washington Parent magazine.

Nearly 500 tickets have already sold for this event taking place at The Bullis School, and they go for $25/person or $40/couple. Two FREEBIES will be held under your name at Will Call, if your name is drawn as the winner of our giveaway. To enter, send an email to sarah(at)dc-baby(dot)com with the subject line "Dr. Hallowell giveaway," by 5 P.M. MONDAY. In the body of your email, indicate whether you need just one ticket, or two. Winner(s) will be notified by email Monday evening.

Posted by Sarah at 11:13 AM. Permanent link to "Ticket giveaway! Author Dr. Edward Hallowell in Potomac."

November 14, 2008

Weekend Watch: Nutcracker in Clarendon + concerts in DC

This weekend it's the unofficial launch of Nutcracker season - and a fundraiser for a great children's charity - in Arlington's Clarendon neighbhorhood... plus a coupla big-name kiddie concerts in the District.

Thanks to DCB reader (and my friend) Heather for the heads up: This weekend the Barnes & Noble Clarendon will host a couple of family happenings. A special storytime, Saturday at 10 a.m. features characters from the Nutcracker ballet. Kids can get up close and personal with The Sugar Plum Fairy, the Prince, and other costumed dancers from the Center Dance Co.

And Saturday and Sunday, the store hosts a book fair to benefit First Book, a nonprofit organization that gives low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. A percentage of in-store purchases this weekend will go toward First Book. IMPORTANT: Tell the clerk at checkout that you are there for the First Book benefit. (Or you can participate at any other B&N bookstore or cafe by giving them the First Book fair code. Jot it down before you go: 415323.) And yes, you can buy a copy of DC BABY's Revised Second Edition at B&N - and have a portion of your purchase go to the First Book program!

In DC, The Laurie Berkner Band performs Saturday at GW's Lisner Auditorium. And Lisa Loeb & Friends (performing stuff from her new CD of kids' camp songs) will do a show Saturday at National Geographic's Grosvenor Auditorium downtown.

p.s. Quick reminder that on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Celebrate Mama! event goes to Loudon County, at the Claude Moore Rec Center in Sterling. Free admission (fee for some services and activities once you're in the door). Goodie bags to the first 300 families.

Posted by Sarah at 10:14 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Nutcracker in Clarendon + concerts in DC."

November 8, 2008

Thanks, DC!

Mr. Knick Knack at book release party

Thanks to all of you who turned out to the book release party for DC BABY's Revised Second Edition at Hooray for Books this weekend!

We had a fun live show with Mr. Knick Knack (aka Steve Rossi), a storytime with the store's fabulous Mr. Patrick, and some good eats from Mom Made Foods and Whole Foods Market.

It was fun to get to meet some of you in person for the very first time. I appreciate your support of the book - as well as your support of a great independent children's bookstore!

If you didn't make it to the party but want a copy of the book, you can order online, here. Or at any of these DC-area booksellers and boutiques.

Posted by Sarah at 10:28 PM. Permanent link to "Thanks, DC!."

October 31, 2008

Weekend watch: Happy haunting

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe, and memorable Halloween.

Friday evening starting at 5 p.m. is the informally-organized and irresistably cute Dupont Circle children's Halloween parade. Gather by the fountain, with the costumed little ones to start their walk at 5:15. Open to children of all ages, but is especially geared toward families with babies and toddlers who can't stay up late, can't yet trick-or-treat with the big kids, but would still enjoy a little Halloween fun. Participants can bring treats to hand out (but not required). Many parents come in costume, too - So don't be shy.

In MD, don't forget about kid-centric Halloween Rocks at the Kentlands, Halloween afternoon from 3 to 6:30 p.m., with a live show from kids' band Rocknocerus. In VA, Halloween night and Saturday, November 1 is the free and fabulous Halloween Art Show of elaborately carved and illuminated jack-o-lanterns in Vienna, from dusk to 10 p.m.

And before you head out, better safe than sorry: Check out this Halloween candy safety alert from MomsRising.

Posted by Sarah at 6:04 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend watch: Happy haunting."

October 26, 2008

Join us November 8: Mr. Knick Knack performs @ our book release party!

Please come! We're celebrating the release of the Revised Second Edition of my book, DC BABY, with a (free!) performance by the fabulous Mr. Knick Knack - plus refreshments and book-signing and a chance for me to meet more of my readers in person - on Saturday, November 8 starting at 10 a.m. at Hooray for Books children's bookstore in Old Town Alexandria.

We named Mr. Knick Knack, aka Steve Rossi, our "favorite local children's performer" and we are thrilled to have him perform at the book release party. We're also thrilled to have the book available at our own neighborhood independent children's bookstore.

Here's the lineup:

10 a.m. Mr. Knick Knack live performance
11 a.m. Storytime (with a special Karen Katz theme)
11:30 a.m. Refreshments, book signing, chatting, and a jumpstart on holiday shopping

To RSVP that you can join us, please visit the e-vite. See you there!

Posted by Sarah at 10:16 PM. Permanent link to "Join us November 8: Mr. Knick Knack performs @ our book release party!."

October 22, 2008

November 6: "Organizing for baby" in Bethesda

Expecting a baby or know someone who is? Daisy Baby in Bethesda will host a special Organization Open House on Thursday, November 6 from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Professional organizer Rachel Rosenthal and baby planner Kimberly Shore Levin of Nursery Know-It-All will give workshops on the hour throughout the afternoon, with a brief overview of getting ready and organizing for baby, as well as tips for getting things in order once your baby arrives. They'll also be on hand for individual Q&A.

Rachel will cover organizing and preparing, time management (including family schedules and group calendars), reducing clutter in the house, and solutions for twins. Kim will cover creating and managing your baby registry list, timelines for lining up services pre-baby, babyproofing, and nursery design/assistance.

Daisy Baby's at 4924 Del Ray Ave., downtown. For more info, call 301.654.7477.

Posted by Sarah at 2:58 PM. Permanent link to "November 6: "Organizing for baby" in Bethesda."

October 21, 2008

Halloween kicks for (little) kids: Our picks

It's that time! Loads going on in celebration of Halloween. Here are our picks for the little ones:

In Rockville, Cabin John Regional Park is doing their annual Eye Spy Halloween Train in the evenings from 6 to 9 p.m, Thursday the 23rd through Thursday the 30th. Just $4 with a canned food item to donate. (Intended for children under age 8, and not older-kid-scary like the Wheaton Regional Park train.)

Boo at the Zoo is also right around the corner, this Thursday the 23rd through Sunday the 26th. Limited tix are still available for all dates except Saturday (sold out). Metro strongly advised, unless you're a FONZ member and able to secure the (very limited) parking. Last year we scrambled to buy tix and second-hand parking at the last minute, only to have it rain cats and dogs. Bummer. Better luck to those of you giving it a go this year.

This Friday, the 24th at Fairlington Center in Arlington, Parent Child University will host their Annual Halloween Fashion Show - a fun chance for the little ones to don their costumes early - along with a FREE demo class from 10 to 10:40 a.m. Intended for infants to five-year-olds. No cost, but you must RSVP in advance. Send your name, names and ages of your children, and email address to: classes-at-parentchildu-dot-com or by calling 571.643.1002.

Saturday the 25th is the annual Fall Frolic at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, with trick-or-treating and a costume parade through the park, pumpkin painting, decorating trick-or-treat bags, and more arts and crafts fun. If you want to make a day of it, ride the carousel and catch the Three Billy Goats Gruff at the puppet playhouse or Harold and the Purple Crayon at the Adventure Theater (advance tix for both strongly advised).

Sunday the 26th in Alexandria is the annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, starting at 2 p.m. All are welcome to march down Mt. Vernon Ave. in costume - decorated strollers included! - to the Mt. Vernon Community School, where there will be live music and food to follow, as well as the Jaycees-hosted Goblin Games for all ages. We love this parade - So many kids and adults alike in a show of the most creative costuming! It's a BIG event with a big crowd, so get there early to hunt for parking.

Finally, on pumpkin night proper: It's the FREE-admission Second Annual Halloween Rocks Festival for kids at Market Square, Kentlands in Gaithersburg, October 31, 3 to 6:30 p.m. A concert by Rocknocerus, plus other live performances, a petting zoo, trick-or-treating, creative costume contest, face painting, carnival and moonbounces, crafts and games. A safe, fun, non-terrifying Halloween-day destination.

Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 2:53 PM. Permanent link to "Halloween kicks for (little) kids: Our picks."

October 17, 2008

Weekend Watch: Prime time for fall festivals

To celebrate the return of real fall weather this weekend, consider pulling that wool cardigan outta the closet and getting outdoors with the little ones, by visiting one of the festivals in the District or the 'burbs.

Our favorites are the Annual Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard in Germantown and the Fall Festival at Cox Farms in Centreville. For first-timers and the youngest children, Butler's Orchard is a good bet (especially the hayloft barn, where toddlers delight in jumping in the stuff until you drag them away). The Butler's Orchard extravaganza is slightly smaller in scale and may be less crowded than Cox Farms (which does have our favorite, longer hayride for preschoolers and older kids, plus a bazzillion slides of all sizes and pony rides). But at either place, you're wise to arrive EARLY, when the gates open, for the easiest parking and most tolerable crowds. At both places you should expect to pay an entrance fee, plus additional costs for food, pumpkin purchases, etc.

Also, in DC on Saturday, the Kids Corner nonprofit, bilingual daycare center will host its Second Annual Fall Fair at Mitchell Park in Kalorama (23rd and S Sts. NW) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food, games, music, dance, storytelling, and crafts from around the world, for all ages, with FREE admission (tix can be purchased for food and games). For more info, call 202.797.1555.

Posted by Sarah at 11:18 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Prime time for fall festivals."

October 16, 2008

Yiro does Bethesda

The fabulously upscale, organic, and eco-friendly Yiro boutique has expanded beyond its original Georgetown location. You'll find their second store @ 4823 Bethesda Ave. in Bethesda Row (next to Quartermaine Coffee). Open seven days a week, just like the Georgetown location.

We love Yiro! They carry soft, fun, fashion-forward layette and kids' clothing; furniture and decor; baby gear; and the real deal on quality wooden toys in their co-located Tugooh Toys boutique. It's no bargain bin, but it's quality. And there's a lot to be said for that.

Happy shopping!

Posted by Sarah at 9:08 PM. Permanent link to "Yiro does Bethesda."

October 14, 2008

October 25: Halloween dance party at The Avalon

Heads up for John Henry England's 4th Annual Halloween Costume Party at the historic Avalon Theatre in Chevy Chase, Saturday October 25 @ 10 a.m. Tix will sell out for this one!

Cost is just $5 per person (or $3 for Avalon members) for the costume ball: Live music and dancing - plus face painting (no extra charge) and treats for all.

If you're not already acquainted with the groovy John Henry England... he's a Virginia dad (born and raised in Bethesda) serving up "peaceful punk rock, preschool power, music to move to."

Posted by Sarah at 10:55 AM. Permanent link to "October 25: Halloween dance party at The Avalon."

October 9, 2008

Weekend Watch: Big consignment sales, Oktoberfests, & free class previews

A long holiday weekend, and plenty to do. Among the highlights: Two of the biggest and best consignment/benefit sales in NoVa, Oktoberfests on both sides of the Potomac, and free class previews in DC.

Among the weekend's biggest discount children's clothing and gear events are the mondo Dani's Duds sale @ Dulles Expo Center and the positively famous NoVa Parents of Multiples Semi-Annual Sale in Falls Church.

Oktoberfest celebrations are also happening this weekend at The Kentlands in Gaithersburg, in Accokeek, and Reston.

Last but not least, Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., Jonah's Treehouse is hosting more FREE preview classes for any child age six months to three years. A chance to learn about their program and meet other parents from Georgetown, Glover Park, Spring Valley, Palisades, Wesley Heights, Cleveland-Woodley-AU Park, and all over NW. You do need to call ahead to reserve your free preview spot: 202.298.6805. And take note of this bit of news: Jonah's Treehouse now offers a flex schedule allowing you to come to classes at different days and times throughout the session.

Enjoy your Columbus Day weekend!

Posted by Sarah at 9:50 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Big consignment sales, Oktoberfests, & free class previews."

October 7, 2008

DC BABY discount: 25 percent off ANY service @ Hela Spa

Hela Spa really loves DC BABY. So much that they're giving my readers a generous 25 percent discount on any service! Just mention DC BABY when you call to make your appointment.

(You can also take advantage of their limited number of appointments for a special promotion: 45-minute massages for $50.)

Among their many services, Hela Spa offers prenatal massage, infant massage instruction (at both the Georgetown and Chevy Chase locations), and a monthly mother's tea where you can meet other DC moms and get your questions answered about prenatal and/or infant massage. They also host a monthly drop-in group you can sample an intro to infant massage without committing to an entire session of classes. Even a small lending library of books and DVDs that clients can borrow - And they've been known to lend a body pillow to an expectant mom with sleeping troubles.

Senior massage therapist Mary Szegda draws heavily on her previous work as a movement psychotherapist and licensed counselor, with an interest in developmental movement patterns and the non-verbal relationship between parents and young children. And she has hired infant massage instructors with similar backgrounds. According to one reviewer mom, "Going to Mary at Hela Spa for a pregnancy massage was heaven. I could not have survived the second and third trimesters without my regular visits... After my daughter was born, I signed up for the infant massage class...This was a great bonding activity and a wonderful way to meet other moms in the area."

Enjoy your 25 percent off Swedish spa experience! Contact Mary at: mary-at-helaspa-dot-com, or call 202.333.4445.

Posted by Sarah at 2:06 PM. Permanent link to "DC BABY discount: 25 percent off ANY service @ Hela Spa."

October 6, 2008

Mom Made goodness, online

Our friends at Alexandria-based Mom Made Foods have launched a beautiful, user-friendly new website with some swanky features, including yummy recipes and tips for fostering healthy eating habits (and dealing with eating challenges) for all ages - infants, toddlers, and big kids.

The site also includes an events section, where you can find out about Mom Made tastings and classes - such as their monthly class at the fabulous Breastfeeding Center in DC. You can also use the "find us" feature on the homepage to locate all the stores in your neighborhood stocking their tasty treats. And you can sign up for their free newsletter to get more recipes and info about events and special offers.

As I write in a review of Mom Made Foods in the revised second edition of my book, they're a local success story, founded and managed by local mama Heather Stouffer and featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and in the Wall Street Journal. You can find their line of organic foods for babies and children at Whole Foods, Balducci's, Wegmans, Super Targets, and more. We love their award-winning sweet potatoes!

Posted by Sarah at 11:34 AM. Permanent link to "Mom Made goodness, online."

October 3, 2008

Weekend Watch: Street festivals & shopping opps

This weekend in Bethesda and Alexandria there are two great street festivals with activities for kids - plus the added perk of discount shopping nearby.

Taste of Bethesda is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. And while you're there, stop into neighboring Wiggle Room for a very rare Ergo carrier sale, prize giveaway, and demo. They'll be raffling a FREE Ergo carrier ($105 value), plus offering 10 percent off all Ergo merchandise (Saturday only). Also free demos and your questions answered by Ergobabycarrier rep Karin Buck between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. And you can preview their new designs, out this fall. As the mama of an exceptionally long, heavy, and active baby boy, I can't say enough good things about the Ergo. Just yesterday while out for a walk in Old Town, a new mother stopped me to ask about the carrier. Like most everyone I talk to, she shared my experience of pain and aggravation with other baby carriers - so I was v. happy to plug a product that I truly LOVE.

But I digress. Saturday in Alexandria, it's Art on the Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. More kids' activities, tasty treats, and live entertainment. And while you're in this neck of the woods, be sure to stop by the BIG yard sale at our family's very own Meeting House Cooperative Preschool in Old Town (318 S. Royal St.) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Loads of baby and kid gear, toys, books, and clothing - plus adult clothes and household stuff. At low, low bargain prices! I personally donated some goodies in perfect condition - including a Maclaren baby seat, an infant play gym, loads of baby boy clothes and sleepers, and some nice J. Crew jeans/pants and dressy Ann Taylor skirts that I can no longer fit into postpartum. (Alas and alack.)

p.s. Thanks to DCB reader Maria for sharing this: "There's also a Greek festival this weekend, Oct. 3-5, at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church. These are always fun, with lots of activities and yummy sweets! Free admission."

Posted by Sarah at 1:04 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Street festivals & shopping opps."

September 24, 2008

It's here! DC BABY, Revised Second Edition, now in paperback

It's rolling off the press this week! I'm pleased (and exhausted) to announce that the Revised Second Edition of my book, DC BABY, is now available for pre-order! Copies ordered this week will ship via priority mail approx. October 1.

By mid- to late-October the book will also be on the shelves of DC-area bookstores and select baby boutiques. Also on Amazon.com.

It's been a long time coming and a lot of hard work. The new edition represents a complete overhaul, with tons of updates, new information, and a more user-friendly organization. Did I mention it's over 300 pages?

Thanks to all of you who sent me your tips and recommendations over the past few years, since the book's first edition sold out in early 2006. You provided invaluable insight as I did the research that would make this handbook a more useful tool for expectant mamas and the parents of young children. I couldn't have done it without you! Thank you, THANK YOU again for your support. And thank you for reading!

p.s. For those of you who have purchased an e-book version of the Revised Second Edition any time this year... Yesterday you should have received a new email linking you to a FREE e-book that reflects the final additions and edits made to the paperback book before it went to press. The latest and greatest version, if you will. Our apologies that this email did not go out with an explanatory note. Rest assured, you were NOT charged for another e-book!

Posted by Sarah at 8:33 AM. Permanent link to "It's here! DC BABY, Revised Second Edition, now in paperback."

September 22, 2008

A day of FREE classes at Bethesda's new Hot Mama Fitness

This Saturday, September 27, the new Hot Mama Fitness Studio celebrates its official grand opening in downtown Bethesda with a day of free fitness class previews, seated massage, raffles, and activities for young kids from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The free previews line up like this:

10 a.m. Postnatal belly dance
10:30 a.m. Preparing for birth with yoga
11 a.m. Goddess yoga
11:30 a.m. Postnatal ballet-sculpt
12 noon Postnatal fuctional training
12:30 p.m. Postnatal fluid movement
1 p.m. Seated massage
1 p.m. Prenatal fitness
1:30 p.m. Prenatal belly dance
2 p.m. Dance for expectant and new mamas
2:30 p.m. Postnatal small group training
3 p.m. Oh Baby!
3:30 p.m. drum circle

Hot Mama Fitness is located at 4715 Cordell Ave., Suite 200, just four blocks from the Bethesda metro station. Their fall lineup of classes begins next Monday, September 29.

Posted by Sarah at 10:27 AM. Permanent link to "A day of FREE classes at Bethesda's new Hot Mama Fitness."

September 17, 2008

Richard Scarry-inspired show at Imagination Stage opens September 27

Thanks to DCB reader Bette for sharing this tip: The fabulous Imagination Stage in Bethesda will soon open its production of BUSYTOWN, inspired by one of our family's favorite children's picturebook authors, Richard Scarry.

Many of the productions at Imagination Stage are geared toward older children, but this one is great for all ages - including the youngest preschoolers. The Washington premiere of this show runs September 27 through November 2, with selected weekday matinees, as well as weekend shows. (As an added perk, kids get to meet the actors after every weekend matinee.) Tix range from $10 to $21.

Posted by Sarah at 11:41 AM. Permanent link to "Richard Scarry-inspired show at Imagination Stage opens September 27."

September 12, 2008

Weekend Watch: Fall festivals in DC, Takoma Park, & Old Town

'Tis now officially the season for fall festivals - with several this weekend, great for getting outdoors with the kids. And each of these promises a decent dose of entertainers and activities for children.

Saturday is the Arts on Foot Festival in DC's Penn Quarter. Sunday is the Takoma Park Folk Festival and the Adams Morgan Day Festival. The Alexandria Festival of the Arts along Old Town's King St. runs both days.

Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 6:24 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Fall festivals in DC, Takoma Park, & Old Town."

September 8, 2008

Put this on your fridge: National Capital Poison Center hotline

A must-know resource for all DC-area parents and kiddo-caregivers: The National Capital Poison Center in DC, 1.800.222.1222. If it's not posted on your refrigerator with all the other emergency numbers, it should be!

Each year The National Capital Poison Center receives 55,000 phone calls from residents and health professionals in the metro area - Most of them from mothers whose children have gotten into household products and who are panicked about what to do. The Poison Center is a nonprofit, non-government organization providing medical guidance in poison emergencies. Their services are FREE, and they are open all day, every day, providing confidential information. They even provide translation services for parents and childcare providers who don't speak fluent English.

I know how easy it is for me to fall into the "that stuff happens to other people" mindset. And I bet I'm not alone. Better to take a few moments to be prepared.

Posted by Sarah at 8:42 PM. Permanent link to "Put this on your fridge: National Capital Poison Center hotline."

September 5, 2008

Weekend Watch: Cool shopping opps & Imagination Stage open house

So it's not kid-centric - but the best news of the weekend is, the Georgetown Flea Market is back in Georgetown! During my younger, unmarried, pre-mommy stint as a Washingtonian, this was my favorite Sunday destination. And there's no reason you can't take the children, while you enjoy a bit of non-child treasure hunting. Check it out this Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A coupla miles up Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda... This Saturday it's the Second Annual "Bethesda Kids Block" Sidewalk Sale and Block Party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in conjunction with Imagination Stage's open house.

Head to the downtown block bordered by Del Ray Ave., Norfolk Ave., Auburn Ave., and Old Georgetown Rd. for big savings. Wiggle Room will host its big stroller and gear sale, plus face painting and 10 percent off purchases. Jabberu offers 10 percent of all store merchandise, $25 off your first month's tuition (new families only), and fun activities in Spanish, French, and Chinese. Musikids will offer demo classes and open play. Daisy Baby & Mommies Too will hold a sidewalk sale and offer 10 percent off all in-stock merchandise. LightWave Photography will offer a free portrait sitting and a 4x6 print of your child between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To sweeten the deal, Hard Times and Guardado's family-friendly restaurants will feature yummy specials. And Imagination Stage's open house runs 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for families with children ages 1-5, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. for families with kids K-5th grade.

Posted by Sarah at 4:09 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Cool shopping opps & Imagination Stage open house."