Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cool Music for Kids

I am constantly in search of new music for myself and for my kids. I like to find tunes that are appropriate for all of us. Fun, moving, interesting, clever, clap hands, rump shakin good music. Please, not Barney blurting, or Dora slaughtering both the English and Spanish musical language. These two characters are fine if my kids want to listen to them alone or with friends, but when we are listening, dancing, and air banding together, I want something substantial.

There are many more options today for the music obsessed parent. Great artist from the near past like Replacements front man Paul Westerberg, Lisa Loeb, They Might Be Giants, and former Del Fuegos principal Dan Zanes have all cut albums for the under 10 set in recent years. Jason Ringenburg, frontman of Jason and the Scorchers, has reincarnated himself as farmer Jason.

Most of their music fits my criteria, but some of it can make you want to smash your sons Lego tower. It's all a matter of taste and tolerance when it comes to sharing music with your children.

Here are some of my children's favorites:

The Beatles-classic choice I know but it gets them every time
Micheal Franti and Spearhead- uplifting,positive, reggae vibe. My daughters absolute favorite
Andrew Bird-hauntingly beautiful, great chill down music, and he whistles!
Jack Johnson- my son is convinced that it's curious george singing
The Young Dubliners- they can't help that they have some Irish blood coursing through them
Ray Charles- they love the song Mess Around
Elvis- you cant go wrong with the king
Putumayo compilations- they love them all-a especially Reggae for Kids
Green Day- they like the rock.
The Reals- they love it because their dad plays in the band.
Dan Zanes- rocket ship beach is alot of fun
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman- not for kids only cd is good music for evryone.
Boogie Nights Sountrack- Disco baby!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Things to do with your kids on a snowy day in Denver...

Children's Museum of Denver
A hands-on educational and entertaining experience for children and their caregivers. Programs and playscapes are designed for newborns to eight-year-olds. Children can participate in theatre, dance and movement, cultural activities, science activities, games and team activities. Other programs enhance cognitive functioning for babies, and real-life roleplaying activities for older kids.
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Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is world famous for its American Indian art collection. Visitors can view outstanding architecture, graphics and design galleries, or explore stunning Asian, Modern & Contemporary art, pre-Columbian, and Spanish Colonial galleries.
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Denver Firefighters Museum
The museum houses an extensive archive of old photographs, documents, journals and news stories about early Denver and the development of firefighting technology. Many artifacts date from 1866, including hand-drawn schematics and two early motorized vehicles. A unique gift shop offers books, toys, collectibles and antiques.
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Denver Mint
Enjoy a tour of Denver's U.S. Mint, one of only two full-service mints in the nation. Producing between 14 and 20 billion coins each year, the Denver Mint is the largest producer of coins in the world. The gift shop offers exciting numismatic coin and money-related collectibles. Call 303-405-4766 for information about tour scheduling procedures, or visit the Mint's Web site.
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Forney Museum of Transportation
A "must see" for train buffs! Visit the museum in its new location on Brighton Boulevard. Enjoy over 500 exhibits featuring early-model carriages, automotives and locomotives, including the Big Boy Engine and the Forney Locomotive 040-T Engine built in 1897.
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Molly Brown House Museum
Costumed guides lead visitors through the 1889 home of the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" - Denver's famous socialite, philanthropist and Titanic survivor.
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Museo de las Americas
The museum preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of Latinos in the Americas.
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Museum of Contemporary Art
Denver's first and only contemporary art museum. MCA is a non-collecting space that functions like the European model of a kunsthalle, offering ongoing presentations of innovative and challenging art of our time. Multi-disciplinary programs. Tours upon request.
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Ocean Journey
Denver’s interactive aquarium and the only marine sciences center in an eight-state region. Explore waters and wildlife from the Continental Divide to the Sea of Cortez, and from an Indonesian rain forest to the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
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Denver Public Library
The Denver Public Library (DPL) is the information resource for the people of Denver and the greater metro area. It also acts as the official Resource Center for the state of Colorado and is a regional depository for publications of the U.S. government. The Library is world-renowned for its collection of western Americana and its model Children's Library.
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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Claim: You Can Predict the Sex of a Baby by the Way the Mother Is Carrying

By ANAHAD OCONNOR in The New York Times
Published: January 2, 2007

THE FACTS If a pregnant woman is carrying low, it'’s a boy. If she i’s carrying high, it i’s a girl. And if she i’s carrying all the weight out front in the shape of a basketball, then it'’s probably a boy.

This refrain has been around for centuries, repeated in various forms and used by some women to decide whether to go with pink or blue for the baby's room. The claim has its origins in Hippocratic times, when it was believed that male fetuses were conceived on the right and girls on the left, said Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University.

But revered as it may be, the method has no scientific basis. Most experts say the only reason it has persisted for so long is that, much like flipping a coin, there is a 50/50 chance of its being right.

In a large 1999 study, researchers at Johns Hopkins recruited 104 pregnant women who did not know the sex of their babies and put the maxim to the test: They found that the shape of the abdomen was a poor predictor of a baby'’s sex.

But some findings were unexpected. Women with more than 12 years of education correctly predicted the sex of their babies about 70 percent of the time, compared with 43 percent of the time for less educated women. And predictions that were based on dreams and feelings, it turned out, were more accurate than those based on the way a woman carried.

THE BOTTOM LINE The shape of a pregnant woman'’s belly is a poor predictor of a baby'’s sex.