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  • Area swim schoolsMar 7, 2014 12:00 AM
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  • “The Dogs and I: True Tails from the Mississippi” was recently released by Kenny Salwey.

    Man’s best friend and the great outdoorsFeb 22, 2014 12:00 AM
    The whole world is your living room. That’s how it feels sometimes because you don’t know any better place for relaxing than the outdoors. With a shady tree as your easy chair, birdsong as your music, and your dog nearby, you could be outside 24/7.

     
  • How to navigate connecting flights with kidsFeb 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    Living in Chicago, home to two international airports, means that a great chunk of the world is reachable via direct flights. But not all. Sometimes we have to connect. And connecting flights when traveling with kids can be a challenge. These tips will make it easier to navigate connecting flights and reduce the chances of missing a flight.

     
  • Some emergency dispatch systems allow parents to set up a profile, giving first responders details that would be helpful when a call comes to 911 from your phone.

    Parents should teach kids how and when to use 911Feb 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    Is your family prepared for an emergency? Does your child know how to dial 911? Do you have the information first responders will need at your finger tips? Increasing your 911 savvy now may save lives later. Teaching your child how to dial 911 may be one of the most important lessons they learn.

     
  • Tranquility Bay Beach Resort is a family-friendly resort offering two pools — one for families and one for adults.

    Florida Keys have never looked so goodFeb 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    The arctic winds blowing through Chicago are making most of us long for a little sunshine on our shoulders. St. Bart’s or Aruba might be calling, but our own Caribbean, the Florida Keys, is a more affordable way to escape the cold, with no passport required.

     
  • Pulled pork is easy, tasty and economical; what could be better than that?

    Slow cooking key to perfect pulled porkFeb 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    The first time Jerome Gabriel tried pulled pork was when he was 6 or 7, and he loved it. Now it's on his list of Top 20 favorite foods. The traditional way to cook it is on a barbecue grill or a smoker, but it has been so cold this winter so he wanted to try it inside in a crockpot.

     
  • Dawn Pennacchia, a graphic artist for Palatine Public Library, created several workshops for teens that encourage creativity and explore design as a career.

    Library workshops focus on nurturing creativity in teensFeb 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    Dawn Pennacchia is always bursting with creative energy. So it is no surprise that while she worked as a graphic artist at the Palatine Public Library, creating posters, brochures and displays that she was also busy thinking about new ways to attract teens to book land.

     
  • Flaxseed can be ground and added to foods such as yogurt or cottage cheese.

    Give your children a heart-healthy snack they will loveFeb 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    You want what’s best for your child, but some nights it’s a major feat just getting dinner to the table. You can take it up a notch in simple ways, even on the craziest nights, to work on preventive care for your kids’ heart health.

     
  • ‘Nice’ game produces real results in bondingFeb 19, 2014 12:00 AM
    Recently, my daughters warmed my heart, honoring my request to play the Nice Game. In this game, each person takes a turn saying something nice about every person in the room.

     
  • If your child has seven or more bouts of recurring tonsillitis in a year, or five to six bouts each year for two years, national AAO-HNS guidelines issued in 2011 indicate tonsillectomy may be advised.

    What parents should know before ­– and after – a tonsillectomyFeb 19, 2014 12:00 AM
    Today nearly half a million children under the age of 15 have their tonsils removed each year, making the procedure the second most common reason for care in children's hospitals. However, experts say the surgical procedure used to treat childhood sleep apnea and chronic, debilitating throat infections isn't necessarily a risk-free endeavor.

     
  • Old-man winter describes this dad to a T Feb 19, 2014 12:00 AM
    This winter, I turned into that old guy who tells stories about the past. It sure has been a fun winter, hasn’t it? It seems like every day we are dealing with either a heavy snowstorm, or freakishly cold weather.

     
  • “Raising My Rainbow” by Lori Duron (Broadway Books 2013), $15, 278 pages.

    ‘Raising My Rainbow’ a journey of discovery Jan 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Author Lori Duron’s son is absolutely, wonderfully fabulous, and in her new memoir “Raising My Rainbow,” she’ll tell you about C.J. For the past four years, life in Lori Duron’s household has been separated into two eras: Before Barbie (BB), and After Barbie (AB).

     
  •  “Crochet at Home,” edited by Brett Bara (Interweave, 2013).

    The best of recent crafting books Jan 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Hunkered down in the middle of winter has parents and non-parents turning to crafts to keep everyone busy. Here’s a look at some of the best crafting books of 2013.

     
  • Dan Dye, a student at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, plays on the Windy City Warriors wheelchair basketball team.

    Wheelchair basketball helps player fly Jan 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    “I really think that basketball has not only changed, but saved, Dan’s life,” says Peggy Dye. According to Peggy, her 16-year-old son Dan is a completely different person after joining a wheelchair basketball team three years ago. Dan was born with semi-fibular hemimelia, a condition where a child is born with part or all of the fibula missing. So typical sports are not something in which he was ever able to participate. That is until he found wheelchair basketball.

     
  • Kids lose body heat faster than adults, so they should be bundled properly in jackets, hats and gloves. And yes, we do lose more heat through our heads, so a hat is important.

    Should you make your child wear a heavy coat? Jan 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Are we over-bundling our kids when we stuff them into those big parkas? How warm need a coat be? And what’s the science behind those temperature ratings on many kids’ jackets?

     
  •  Cheddar is the most popular cheese in America and shines on a grilled cheese sandwich.

    Move over Mom: Shredded cheddar key to ‘grate’ grilled cheese sandwich Jan 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    I don't know anyone who does not like cheese. Pretty much everyone in my family likes cheese, and especially grilled cheese sandwiches. Clifton Fadiman, an American author and editor, once described cheese as “milk's leap into immortality."

     
  • Owlet Wearable Baby Monitor tracks your baby's heart rate, oxygen levels, temperature and sleep habits all visible through an app on parent's phones or tablets. The data can been analyzed and charted to help parents notice trends in their baby or alert them in case of an emergency. An adjustable strap allows parents to use the wearable baby monitor from birth through about the first year of life. Cost: $250.

    Technology for even the youngest babies Jan 22, 2014 12:00 AM
    With new technology products being invented all the time, developers have a new audience to sell to — babies. For a few years parents have been handing their smartphones or tablets to their children to distract them with a movie or educational app, but now several companies are coming out with new products specifically targeted at children, even some under 1 year old.

     
  • When you're talking to your kids about relationships, make sure to really listen to them, experts say.

    How parents can help kids build positive connections Jan 22, 2014 12:00 AM
    If you want to help your child develop healthy personal relationships, it doesn’t hurt to start by working on your own relationship-building skills and taking a close look at your own beliefs and morals, experts say.

     
  • “Arturo and the Navidad Birds” by Anne Broyles, illustrated by KE Lewis, translation by Gust Soanish (Pelican Publishing Co. 2013), $16.99, 32 pages.

    Holiday spirit at heart of book on family Christmas traditionsDec 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Every Christmas, your family does something they do every year. It's a tradition, and it's never broken.

     
  •  Guests look out over a wildlife-filled savanna on Wild Africa Trek at Disney´s Animal Kingdom, which is part of Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

    There’s a wealth of freebies at Disney resortsDec 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Disney World advertises itself as “The Happiest Place On Earth.” It can also be one of the most expensive places on earth. But wherever you go — even to Disney World — the key to making a family vacation affordable is to do the free stuff.

     
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