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May 08, 2009

Mother's Day

I should write something about Mother's Day.

But Thing 1 has a fever.

And there's no food in the house.

And there are two loads of laundry to be folded.

And I should read a story to Thing 1 instead of blogging.

Sorry Mother's Day -- life gets in the way sometimes...


May 07, 2009

Gaming and Kids

A good friend is doing a study on Child Gaming and asked to spread the word to the 'club' to participate in the anonymous survey they are using to capture data. (Good to know - it doesn't ask family household income, highest level of education achieved or child's gender - hate it when surveys ask all that).

The purpose of the survey is to assess parents attitudes towards video games and advertising. The survey is short and to the point (so don't worry about it taking time away from sorting laundry or actual "working").

To give you a taste - this is one of the questions...

If an educator asked you whether or not it was acceptable to use video games in your child's classroom, what would be your most likely reaction?
It would be acceptable
It might be acceptable, you would want to review the game first
It would be unacceptable

So please, participate in the survey (and share the link with a friend -- the more people who participate the better!).

Child Gaming Research Survey (yes, click that)

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May 06, 2009

Parent Club Review & Giveaway Policy

Parent Club is a Canadian website/blog with a loyal and connected community of family-focused readers.

Once in a while, we are asked to review a product and/or host a giveaway. We only accept these opportunities if we feel the item is of particular interest to our family/lifestyle readership.


When a product is provided for review - the post is tagged Product Review (so that - you know - we actually had the product in hand). Parent Club reviews are honest reportings of hands-on family experiences with the products (meaning: if we love it...we'll tell you - if we don't love it...we'll tell you gently)

Note: Some reviews are not challenges at all - but cool things we use, stumble upon, or are sent in by Parent Club readers. These posts are not tagged Product Review.


As per the Canadian Sweepstakes Law Canadian winners will be asked to answer a mathematical skill testing question.*

If you are interested in more information or are an organization which would like to connect with Parent Club please e-mail: Parent Club.

*Tip: Skill Testing Questions are based on BEDMAS
B (brackets)
E (exponents)
D (division)
M (multiplication)
A (addition)
S (subtraction)

Example: (2 × 4) + (10 × 3) (Answer: 38).


May 05, 2009

Parent Club Review: Oral-B

Parent Club was challenged to a four week review some new Oral-B products. We sent the challenge out to our test panel and we had more than one parent e-mail to be chosen for this review. Everyone must want cleaner teeth!


The review consisted of a dentist check-up*, using the products over the course of four weeks and then a follow up dentist check up to compare teeth before and after. Here are the results...

Feedback from Parent Club test panelist's dentist: First visit (March 27, 2009)

Parent: How would you describe my overall oral health?
Dentist: Overall oral health is a B+.

Parent: How would you describe the level of plaque?
Dentist:Not much plaque, more hardened plaque.

Parent: Do I have signs of gingivitis? If so which areas should I pay close attention to?
Dentist:Yes, there is signs of gingivitis on my back upper teeth. I have 4 bleeding spots.

Feedback from dentist: Second visit (April 29, 2009)

Parent: How would you describe my overall oral health?
Dentist: Overall oral health is a better.

Parent: How would you describe the level of plaque?
Dentist: Plaque was reduced a little. Hardened plaque was still there. It can only be removed by scaling.

Parent: Do I have signs of gingivitis? If so which areas should I pay close attention to?
Dentist: Yes, there is signs of gingivitis on my back upper teeth. On the second visit I only had one bleeding spot.

My feedback on the products:

I liked the toothbrush, it was light weight and easy to use. The one thing that it lacked was that it didn't have space on the base to store other brushes for a family.

The tooth paste was awful, in my opinion. It was gritty and left a taste in my mouth all day. (Good for weight loss!!!)

The night one was even worse, it made me gag and I almost threw up a couple of times. I stopped using it the day I went for the last check up.

The dental floss was not effective at all. It was too thin and didn't do the job.

The rinse was good. I liked the taste and it was refreshing. I may have not be able to continue with the paste if it wasn't for the rinse. Also, to be fair I normally don't use paste, but rather gel, so this my also be why I didn't like the paste.
(Busy Mom, educator, 3 children)

dentist check-up* - the panelist was reimbursed for the cost of both dentist check-ups directly from organization.


May 04, 2009

Where am I going?...

And why am I in this handbasket? Come let me tell you: this weekend we went to an artisan fundraiser. (keep reading it's gets Along the tables we stumbled upon a table with small handmade bags.

Handmade by orphan children in Rwanda (can you feel where this is going?...) You know Rwanda -- as in Hotel Rwanda - an amazing film (really you should see it) and Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure Of Humanity In Rwanda written by Gen. Romaeo Dallaire (have the book - if you ever want to read it). You know Rwanda right?

So this artisan table was selling bags handmade by poor, unfortunate, Rwandan children - there were photos of the orphans making the bags (wait it gets better) along with the NUN (see!) who was selling the goods at the artisan fundraiser. Dear blog - we have a moral obligation to buy a bag from the Nun and the Rwandan girl behind the table. We must!

An a-ha moment hit: Dear blog - we should get 8 bags and give them as loot bags for Thing 2s upcoming birthday party. Damn the "made in China machine!" - no one needs any more dollar store crap in loot bags. Let us buy one good item as the required "loot bag" - and give our money to those poor orphans.

So I ask, in French (did I mention it's a French artisan fundraiser?)

Me: "Combien ça coûte?" (How much does this cost?)
Nun: "Payer ce que vous voulez" (Pay what you want).

Swept up in my A-ha moment of saving the orphans and keeping an eye on Thing 1 getting a henna tattoo over there and Thing 2 pulling me over to the henna table - I gave over the entirety of cash in my wallet (@ $30). I paid all that I had. And then borrowed the last bill - $5 - from Thing 1's treat money.

The nun took the money and thanked me. She said the orphans are no longer left-overs from the genocide - they were are AIDS orphans. Left parent-less because of AIDS. Apparently, if Rwandan orphans don't go into an orphanage; they may become child soldiers, could be sold by adults into the sex trade or could be sold by adults for their organs (this is what the Nun said - I did a quick google search and couldn't confirm any child organ harvesting - but Nuns are pretty reliable sources).

Dear Blog! (no words).

I came home with the overwhelming guilt that $35 was not enough to give (and especially not for 8 bags). "Give what you can" was lost in translation and in the motion of the moment.

I - Caroline - have ripped off a nun/the orphans/the moral point. I am in the handbasket and I know where I am going.

The term: going to hell in a handbasket: derives from the use of the guillotine and the decapitated heads being caught in woven baskets - the victim, presumably, going straight to hell. [for those who want to be "in the know"]

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