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The blog went on summer vacation, and it was great. What have we been doing? Well, checking things off the list:

 This year, in spring, we made this list at the table after dinner one night. It was our wish list of what we wanted to remember to do over the summer, as we know that summer ends too fast ’round these parts, and it’s too easy to get to the end and realize we forgot something. Looking down the list, we did most everything! We missed strawberry picking and Peaks Kenny (but only missed Peaks Kenny because we fell in love with Swan Lake this summer, and kept going there!) and we didn’t get to the UMaine trails because the big girl is too big for the bike trailer but not confident on her new-this-year bike (even with training wheels) so, we’ll hope for next year on that one. But other than that, we checked things off, and had a fantastic summer. The list was so helpful, too — it gets hot and hard to come up with something new, so we’d check it on Friday night and make our plans before falling into the usual activities (and our usual activities are pretty fun! But the list helped keep things interesting.)

The other night we did the same thing for fall. On the fall list we have apple & pumpkin picking at Treworgy’s (of course), a variety of Halloween activities, heading back to Acadia National Park, the Orono Bog Boardwalk, and with a freshly minted Kindergartner, we have our first fall of school activities, as well.

How was your summer? What’s on your list for fall?

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Car seat safety is big news this week, with the AAP recommending that babies under 2 remain rear-facing, that kids stay in 5 pt harnesses longer, and that children under 13 always use the backseat.

One thing I’ve noticed in the discussions around this is that some people are confused about the rear-facing thing (in particular) — they are not recommending that children stay in infant carrier/bucket style seats, but that they use a convertible seat, one that can be faced forward after the child is big enough.

In our family, we’ve been following these guidelines for a few years — our almost 5 year old rear faced until the limit of the seat, at 2.5 (in a convertible seat, we don’t use the bucket style at all) and then when her sister came along, the baby took over the convertible seats, and we put the big kid in a seat that has a 5 point harness, but doesn’t look ‘babyish.’  And for those who think forward-facing is easier, in our case, it wasn’t that great a switch — her view was worse (we have a station wagon) and suddenly, she could kick our seats!

If  you are looking for more info, google ‘extended rear facing‘ and you’ll find lots of answers to your questions. For us, it was a simple decision — it wasn’t an inconvenience, and it gave us peace of mind. And our front seatbacks were a LOT cleaner back then.

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For those that are finding their way here from MaineMaven, welcome! I post a lot of events I run across on the BangorBaby Facebook page, so you might want to go ahead and like me over there.

And I still need to get that “Books I’ve Been Reading” post up! Life is good and busy with two right now, but Facebook is an easy way to post stuff that doesn’t merit an entire blog entry. I hope to see you there!

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Having a four year old in preschool means that there is an over-abundance of original artwork that gets sent home. To the four year old, it’s all Very Important. To us, it too often ends up in a pile on the counter, making it Very Hazardous. It is easier for criminals to dispose of murder weapons than it is for us to dispose of the lesser works of the preschooler — usually it involves waiting until she’s out of the house (she has an uncanny ability to walk in as we are about to sweep the pile into the trash) sifting out the stuff we really do like, and then we crumple the ones that don’t pass muster into a ball, double bag it in spent shopping bags and bury it at the bottom of the kitchen trash bin. Even better is if we do this on trash day, otherwise she might sense the hue of a hot pink sheet of construction paper that has had a brown crayon swept across it, once, seeping through the layers and layers of our attempts to mask its disposal.

There is some great stuff she brings home. Her preschool often has them narrate stories, and if it has a narrated story, that floats it to the top of the pile. Since she’s just gotten into drawing faces, we keep many of those. And when she turned one of her pieces around for us, to point out that we had it upside down and see? it’s a GUITAR? Well, I wrote “guitar” and the date on the back and saved that. For now, we are saving them in a scrapbook that someone had given me as a gift (I’m not a scrapbooker) but that has great 12×12 plastic sleeves in it. I’m hoping that this scrapbook will last her through preschool before we need another for kindergarten and beyond, but it’s only with careful, but ruthless, editing of the collection that that will happen.

How about you? How do you decide on what to keep and what to toss, and how do you organize and store it? Let me (and others) know in the comments below!

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The sun came out long enough for folks to enjoy the opening day of the Pancoe Pool. It is now open for the season, offering swimming lessons, adult lap swim, general swim, and family swim. Daily fees haven’t changed — resident kids are $1, resident adults are $2. Non-residents pay $2 and $4, respectively. And if you’re going to be frequenting the pool, invest in a season pass, only available at the Parks & Rec Main office, on Main Street, in Bangor.

For more information:

Bangor Parks & Rec

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Brewer Public Library Playground

Brewer Public Library Playground,
originally uploaded by bangorbaby.

The new location of the Brewer Public Library is a great one. It offers more parking than the old Union Street location, and a roomier building. The kids’ section is at the back of the library, and while not as large as Bangor’s Childrens’ room, it as also not as labyrinthine. Bangor residents can get a Brewer library card for free.

The new location also has this small park on the other side of its parking lot. Before the library, it just had a swing and a slide, but this year they added this playset that is specifically made for kids 18 months-5 years. In addition to the playset, there is a baby swing and big kid swing, a picnic table, a small slide, a balance beam, and a plastic Hippo tunnel-like feature. Combining a trip to the library with a trip to a playground is the best of both worlds for our BangorBaby, and since we’ve never seen another kid there, I think it might be the best kept secret for the toddler/preschooler set in the area. The playground is not visible from the street, but located behind the Brewer Public Library, which is at 100 South Main Street.

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Seems a lot of folks are looking for information on baby stores in Bangor!  We have lots of options, from the big boxes by the mall to the downtown area. Here’s a list, but let me know if you have any to add!

Big Box (Hogan Road/Stillwater Ave area)

  • Target (gear, clothes, diapers, creams and lotions, etc)
  • Walmart (gear, clothes, diapers, creams and lotions, etc)
  • Kmart (gear, clothes, diapers, creams and lotions, etc)
  • Baby Depot/Burlington Coat Factory (gear, clothes,some creams and lotions, etc, widest selection of strollers that I’ve seen)
  • Toys R Us (gear, diapers, creams and lotions, etc — a mini Babies R Us inside a toy store)

Small Box (Hogan Road/Stillwater Ave area)

Bangor Mall

Downtown area:

Used:

  • The Growing Place (clothes, toys, gear)
  • Goodwill (clothes)
  • Craigslist (clothes, gear, toys, books, supplies — you name it! Posting an ISO –’in search of’– is a great way to get what you need. It’s how we’ve furnished our backyard.)

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From Evelyn Conrad, of Your Birth Connection:

UPCOMING DOULA TRAINING: I am considering doing a DONA Approved Birth Doula Training over the course of 9 weeks on Wednesday Evenings from 5:30-9:00 p.m. in Brewer. Dates would be May 30, 2007 to July 25, 2007. This would be the same training given over a three day weekend, but broken up so that people have more time to digest the info. Cost would be $350.00. I wonder if there is any interest in this? Please let me know if this is something that would work better for you now or in the future. FMI contact Evelyn Conrad ybcdoula@adelphia.net or 945-9804

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There will be a DONA approved Doula Training held in Bangor, April 13-15. For more information, contact Evelyn Conrad at 945-9804, or at info@yourbirthconnection.com

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