This Buddha maternity T-shirtwe're giving away todayfrom Bump Bellevue would be a terrific baby shower gift for that friend who either has the zen mama attitude down, or could use a little zen in her pregnancy. It's a tunic-length shirt, 100 percent cotton, made in the U.S.A., stretchy and a bit sheer. It's exclusive to Bump.
How to enter the giveaway:
It's easy! Just leave a comment on this post about your favorite maternity/baby gift. Include your email in the comment form so that we can contact you if you are the winner.
Additional entries will be given for the following (leave an extra comment for each action to let us know):
This giveaway ends Friday, June 21, at noon. We will leave a comment reply for the winner by the end of the day.
Make sure to check back to see if you've won if you haven't already heard from us by email!
And be sure to hop over to our new BabyMap site for the latest baby/pregnancy news and resources, including baby sleep tips, hottest apps for new parents, monthly milestones that matter, and much more.
Confession: I really didn't see the need to make a sequel to Monsters, Inc. I was worried that Pixar was losing its mojo and trying to rehash old success.
But having seen Monsters University I was happy to find that there's still a lot of energy and humor in the franchise. I enjoyed Monsters University more than the original and parents will be happy to know that a lot of the humor is aimed at them — from hilarious use of teen stereotypes and amusing details about college life to the fact that the whole movie is essentially a cleaner and funnier remake of Revenge of the Nerds. There are a lot of college comedy tropes that you might recognize here.
The audience I watched it with was predominantly adults and they had a great time. And so did the kids. I brought my ten-year-old daughter and a couple of her friends and they enjoyed it immensely. Although, after the fact my daughter claimed to have enjoyed the original movie more. When I asked if she had any trouble relating to the story she said, "Well, I haven't gone to college." Touché.
All the jokes are presented on a solid story framework that is rooted in the relationship between Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James "Sully" Sullivan (John Goodman). Sully is a real jerk through most of the movie but his bad attitude is believable because he arrives at college as the conceited son of a celebrity scarer. The tension between Sully and Mike works to provide a strong dramatic backbone for the movie while Sully's development over the course of the story provides deeper insight into both of these familiar characters.
This summer will be Shaila Pierce-Hamel's fifth summer at Camp Ten Trees and she can't wait.
"We have camp songs about all kinds of families, like Herman the Worm who eats his two moms," said Shaila.
This is no ordinary summer camp.
Camp Ten Trees is a nonprofit organization offering summer camp sessions in the Pacific Northwest, featuring a week for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth, and a week for children and youth of LGBTQ and/or non-traditional families. It was founded in 2001 and was one of the first camps of its kind in the world.
A neighbor recently told me about Ten Trees and I was intrigued with what is the only residential summer camp in the Pacific Northwest specifically focusing on LGBTQ identity issues.
These days we are seeing more and more kids exploring their identity at younger ages. And because it is becoming so common, there is a growing transparency of these issues. We still have a ways to go in terms of making it safe for kids to be open and to truly be themselves, but I feel optimistic that the “hush-hush-ness” is becoming old news.
Camp Ten Trees looks from the outside like any summer camp offering arts and crafts, swimming, boating, nature walks, low ropes challenge, archery and sports, but it is actually a place where kids can come and be themselves and find a sense of belonging with others.
"Our kids are in the minority in their home communities, and have often experienced being marginalized or bullied because of their family status, sexual orientation or gender identity. To be able to join a community where their experience is central is a great gift, and I think it keeps some of them going the rest of the year," explained Laura Pierce, Shaila’s mom.
What’s amazing is that the camp, founded in 2001, is almost completely volunteer-run, with only two paid staff members, Executive Director Airen Lydick and a Camp Director Cori Jaeger.
"These volunteers have other lives as teachers, community organizers, health care providers, youth workers, activists, parents, social workers ... Because of this, they bring a depth of skills and experience to the camp sessions that allows them to support youth development and engagement wherever it can happen … even if that’s in a canoe," explained Lydick.
I never thought I would be going to school with my kids.
The summer before my oldest daughter started kindergarten, I'd been warned at our neighborhood playground: "Stay away from those PTA moms. Once they get you in their clutches, they'll never let you go."
But the school community was new to us, so a few weeks in, I hosted an afternoon tea at my house so we could get to know the kindergarten girls and their mothers. Not long afterward, I had a playground conversation with a Mexican-American father of a fifth-grader, who admitted that he did not feel like a part of the community. Before I knew it, I had an organized an international potluck to replace the school's annual Harvest potluck, and created a multi-cultural committee.
I served as our PTA's first vice president of outreach. I was a member of the school's leadership team and served as a reading tutor. I competed for and won city and county grants to create a tile-mosaic reader board, renovate the playground and install an environmental rain garden.
I became one of those PTA moms.
Though it's clear I was (over)compensating for my pent-up career ambitions, my years of volunteerism were personally and professionally satisfying. And I'm happy to report that, in at least one instance, I broke the stereotype.
"You’re not a typical PTA mom," a refreshingly frank parent, originally from the South, told me. "You don’t have a stick up your ***."
I don't know if the expression "A little knowledge goes a long way" is appropriate, but here's what happened: The more I started caring about my kids' school — not just making sure my children were thriving academically and socially, but also that their teachers and administrators were well supported — the more I started caring about learning environments beyond our school, including those where the picture wasn't so rosy.
I began subscribing to newsletters from local education-advocacy groups. The information they provided was useful, but I had trouble distinguishing one group from another. I suspected I wasn't the only busy parent who was confused.
So I wrote an article about them. One article led to another; one publication led to another. And thus, I became an education reporter.
I saw that the education debates raging in my hometown of Seattle are the same debates being played out nationally. I started following national education journals and advocacy groups. It was only a matter of time before I began following what was happening with education internationally.
Our children look forward to summer, but parents of adolescents should remember it's an especially important time to talk to your kids about avoiding alcohol. Kristie Neklason, a substance abuse treatment and prevention expert with Youth Eastside Services, shares some insights on how to have this conversation on this week's KING 5 and ParentMap's Parent to Parent video. Watch now.