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RECALL: Cribs from Side Rail Gap

Many Cribs Recalled Due to Side Rail Gap

Today, I got notifications for many, many cribs that are under recall including Child Craft, Delta, EvenFlo, Jardine, LaJobi , Million Dollar Baby and Simmons due to entrapment, suffocation, strangulation and fall hazards. Read more…

Top 10: Kids Books for Florida Beach Vacation (ages 2-18)

Top 10: Kids Books for Florida Beach Vacation (ages 2-18)

Books for Kids for Beach Vacation

We have spent an amazing week at North Captiva Island, a barrier reef island with only golf carts as transportation.  Every day, an amazing array of birds fly by the house and dive in the water to catch fish.  We saw an Osprey land on our  roof with a flopping fish.  It eyed us for a moment before flying off to eat its prey.  Every day we see fleets of Brown Pelicans fly in military precision over the water.  When my husband released a catfish he caught on shore, as Osprey flew out of nowhere and grabbed the fish as it swam wearily away. Read more…

Highland Street Foundation Free Museum Fridays Massachusetts Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom 2011 Schedule

Free Museum Friday in Massachusetts

Free Friday Museums in Boston Area

HighlandStreet.org is again offering FREE Fridays at Boston museums. Free Fun Fridays invites Massachusetts residents and tourists to visit designated cultural attractions every Friday during the summer months at no cost. No registration or tickets required. Just show up and enjoy! How great is that?! Click on museum for directions. Read more…

RECALL: Baby Walkers Bad for Development

Baby Walker Recall and Not Recommended by Pediatricians

Baby walkers, in general, are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians.  To get the facts on Baby walkers, click here.  My pediatrician, a doctor affiliated with Children’s Hospital in Boston, says there are three reasons why he is against baby walkers: Read more…

best multicultural books for kids, best multicultural board books, best multicultural picture books, best multicultural chapter books, best books for kids with multicultural themes

Top 50: Best Multicultural Children’s Books

Best Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read

Every summer I stress out about what picture and chapter books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future.

This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multicultural books.  What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school.

I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library! Read more…

bermuda family reunion vacations pragmatic mom elbow beach pink sand beach mandarin oriental hotel

Family Reunion Vacations: Bermuda

Things to do with Kids in Bermuda

We have been to Bermuda a few times and it is probably our favorite place to visit to relax. What is not to like about Bermuda? Pink sand beaches. Friendly people. Crystal clear aquamarine blue ocean. Good food. Read more…

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Top 10: Best Standalone Books for 5th Graders by 5th Grade Girl

Best Books for 5th Grade by my 5th Grade Daughter

Well, it happened and I could not be more excited. My reluctant reader is now tearing through books faster than I. Her reluctance to read began in first year during that terrible year where the teacher was absent so often that there were actually substitutes for substitutes. She also has a natural inclination to be as far away from the limelight as possible and this included reading aloud, even just to me. Ok, especially to me because she hated being corrected and slowing down to decode and frankly, reading books where the difficulty level was correct but the plot was a snooze. Those were some tough years trying to get her to read. Read more…

China for Kids: Cultural Revolution, Books for Kids and More

China for Kids with Children’s Books, Culture and Design

China for Kids: Cultural Revolution, Books for Kids and More

I thought I’d finish up my family history and then I promise to move on from Asia for a while! I covered my mother’s Japanese aristocratic Daimyo history here, and my husband’s royal Yi Dynasty ancestry here.

My father immigrated from China before the Communist Revolution and like most Mainland  China expats, he has his own Joy Luck Club tale to tell. But first, isn’t it funny/strange that most everyone seems to be related to a royal or an aristocrat if you just go far enough back in time? Is this because that is the history that people take pains to preserve? Or maybe these family trees are immense?

In any case, my father’s Chinese side of the family is not related to royals (though with so much history and shake ups, you’d think almost everyone in China had a shot at that) or aristocrats; his family were silk merchants. I don’t exactly have all the details but I would imagine that his family did soup to nuts — raising silk worms, spinning thread, weaving fabric and then selling it. I would also guess that they were prosperous but not moguls  in that I know that his relatives suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution.

In China, most opportunities for advancement are based on standardized tests, particularly in education. My father did well and went to the top university in China and then he went on to teach math at a university. He was later sponsored by the Chinese government to study in the United States, and he went to U.C.L.A. to get his PhD in math. Rumor has it that he fudged his age a tad to appear younger in order to qualify. Read more…

Gregory the Terrible Eater, picture books that build vocabulary,

SAT Vocabulary for Kindergarteners from Gregory, the Terrible Eater

Picture Books to Read in Kindergarten that Build Vocabulary

The vocabulary words for Week 12 are from the picture book, Gregory, the Terrible Eater. Read more…