Parenting

[Follow up post to Are you Ready for a New Pet?]

One decision made: We are getting a dog! Lots of new decisions to go..

The kids want a small “cute” dog & my husband wants one that is easy to travel with, so we are aiming for one that will be no more than 20lbs.

My husband is also mildly allergic to dogs, which we didn’t discover until after our pug had been gone a few months & his allergies miraculously cleared up! So we need to look for a low-shedding, low-dander, “hypo-allergenic” variety. Poodles, havanese, maltese, shih-tzus, bijons, some terriers, & many of their mixed-breed puppies can be good for people who suffer with allergies..so we are looking for one of these.

We also live in a city apartment, so we need a dog that isn’t “yappy” that will annoy the neighbors. We all agree we want a puppy that we can train and love and watch grow from the beginning.

When we first decided to get a puppy, I was set on rescuing one from a shelter, but after weeks of searching, I quickly realized it isn’t quite that simple. First, puppies are very hard to come by in shelters. You should be open to adopting a dog at least over a year & sometimes even much older or of unknown-age to adopt from a rescue shelter. Next, you are often unsure of parentage, making allergen prediction nearly impossible.  I also found that in our city, the shelters were filled with large guard dog types..not what we were looking for.  To find a small-dog puppy with known parentage I had to search shelters in a much wider radius & they were so rare that several in a row were snatched up before I could get our adoption application approved.

I was even told by one rural shelter that they probably wouldn’t even approve us for adoption because they don’t believe that dogs should be placed in “urban locations” regardless of whether we were fit to be dog-owners! So as much as I had hoped to “rescue” a dog, we have decided that we were going to go the route of a breeder, which poses a whole set of additional decisions and a lot more researching to avoid puppy mills.

I’ll be back with updates on our search for our newest furry family member soon but in the meantime, should you have any tips for acquiring a new dog, PLEASE share your comments here!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting

I spoke at BlogHer 2012, Keeping Things Private in a Public, Digital World, with NY Times moderator Jennifer Preston and fellow panelists Lynne Seitz & Vicky Colf (Warner Bros) about the ongoing changes in regulations & privacy agreements that leave the end user confused and vulnerable. While there are all types of informative ways to help protect oneself in the online world, I came out of the BlogHer conference with 5 main points top of mind:

•  Turn OFF geo tagging (or geo location) on your phone’s camera app settings – unless you choose to allow the public to know your private details which are embedded within those shared pictures

Try not to share with everyone – only selected users (i.e. semi-personal information with your friends..not friends of friends)

• DO NOT simply rely on a company’s privacy plan because they constantly change. Stay updated & change your perspective as these terms of service change.

• Think more than twice about allowing apps to share each others data. While you may trust Facebook or Twitter, those cute lil’ 3rd parties rarely have the same privacy terms

READ those terms of privacy..you’ll be very surprised at what they’re having you agree to.

Last week the Federal Trade Commission attempted to tighten up the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) – in particular, the collection of personal data from children’s websites/services and also to create a more concrete definition of personal information. While it looks like a step in the right direction only time will tell.

 

What steps do you take to keep your information private or what methods give you peace of mind in the online world?


by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, My Projects, Parenting, Stuff We Love

Angela's Clues

I’ve been a contributor to web-land for only about a year and a half, but I’ve met so many wonderful people with amazing stories and strong voices. Kathy Radigan (from My Dishwasher’s Possessed) and Val Curtis (from Mental Chew) are two women from within such a talent pool.

On July 16, 2012, they launched the premiere issue of their weekly magazine, Bonbon Break..because every mama needs one. I’m honored that they’ve asked me to be a regular contributor among such a strong team of writers and moms.

Check it out when you happen to find a nice break for yourself.

~Angela

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Stuff We Love

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects, Parenting, Super Why!

Where better to celebrate the opening night of Super Why Live! than the home of Mardi Gras…Louisiana!

Last night, we premiered our live show to an ecstatic crowd of Super Readers at the Monroe Civic Center.  There’s been incredible feedback from parents and children who were treated to our very first live performance of Super Why!

A special thanks to Glenn Orsher and his team at S2BN Entertainment for their amazing job of successfully adapting Whyatt and pals to the live stage, as well as my 2nd family…the incredibly talented crew at Out Of The Blue Ent.!

Click HERE for more information regarding a show near you!

by: Greg | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Stuff We Love

by: Greg | Filed under Kids, Parenting

Our youngest is turning 9 today [sigh].

While we don’t have the camera out 1/2 as much as we used to, we’re still stocking up on some great memories

i.e. Here she is halfway to now:

 

“We must always have old memories and young hopes.”

-Arsene Houssaye

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Super Why!

Following up on my earlier post, Clues to a Great family vacation, here are some highlights of the rest of our week:

Day 4: Read!

We got a chance to meet many of the children of the Half Moon staff at the beautiful Children’s Annecy Village.

I talked with the parents about my vision for creating educational preschool television shows and then read one of our Super Why books to the children. They even read & acted out the story with me. I was able to sign and give away books to each child. They were smart, funny, sweet and beautiful. It was a highlight of the trip.

Day 5:  Family Time

The best part of vacation for me, is when I can unplug (within reason, of course) and spend the majority of the day with my favorite people. Sure, hustling around the streets of Paris is fun, but to slow down the often frenetic pace of my day to come to a place like Half Moon with my husband & girls and just chilllllllll…it’s what the doctor ordered.

Day 6

We’ve been searching for a resort that has the right mix of luxurious elegance, fun for the kids, friendly staff, good food & beautiful accommodations.  We found it and would love to stay!

 

Fave quotes from the trip: 

“Best Massage of my life”  – Grandma 

“It usually takes me 3 days to unwind..it took 3 minutes at Half Moon.” – Angela

‘This is the life” – Youngest daughter

“OMG” –   Oldest daughter in the sea

“OMG” –  “Oldest daughter” on the horse

“OMG” –  “Oldest daughter” at dinner

“I could easily move here” – Greg

 

Oh, and if you missed our vacation music video, sung to Colbie Caillat‘s “Brighter Than The Sun”, check it out HERE.

[Disclosure: This trip was funded by ourselves. All ideas are our own & we have not been paid for such content]

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids, My Projects, Parenting