DC Pediatric Smiles Dental Practice Opens in Bethesda

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The team at DC Pediatric Smiles and Dr Derek Blank are excited to announce that their new office in Bethesda is now open! They take pride in creating a relaxed environment for children of all ages to enjoy their dental experience.  Dr Derek, as he is known to his patients, is a board certified pediatric dentist and father of three young children.

Why DCPS?

  • Board Certified – DC Pediatric Smiles is proud to be the only pediatric dental practice in Bethesda owned and operated by a board certified pediatric dentist.
  • Free Parking – We offer ample, surface parking just steps away from our door.  And the office is completely stroller accessible, no stairs or elevator.
  • Convenient Hours – Open select evenings and Saturdays with 24/7 on-call services provided by our pediatric dentist for any after-hours emergencies.
  • Complimentary Initial Visit – For children ages 2 and under, we offer a free initial appointment.  And for patients of all ages, please stop in for a complimentary office tour!
  • Latest Technology – Our all-digital office is excited to offer the newest high-tech conveniences including iPad check-in, online appointment booking, and Netflix.
  • Potomac Surf Club – Have you ever surfed the Potomac?  Doubt it.  But a clean check-up will earn your child a spot in our exclusive Potomac “Cavity-Free” Surf Club.

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The DCPS Experience

At DC Pediatric Smiles, we understand that a child’s experience with dentistry is a journey.  Each child enters our office at a different stage along that journey.  Dr Blank and his team are specially trained to identify how to help your child feel comfortable and develop a patient-provider foundation of trust.  Our Laugh.Grow.Smile. approach is critical to this success.

Laugh.

Teeth aside for a moment, we want to start by learning about your child.  Your child’s interest in music, sports, language, art, and dance.  What makes your child excited?  And of course, essential questions like… Paw Patrol or Cars?  …Daniel Tiger or Nemo?  …And Anna or Elsa? (or Olaf?).

Grow.

At each appointment, Dr Blank and the team at DCPS aim to make a real, direct impression on your child.  The goal?  To instill one pearl of practical dental knowledge in your child’s memory.  Sometimes this can be a brushing demonstration, a new way to hold floss, or even a healthy snacking tip.

SMILE.

At the end of the first appointment, we strive for your child to leave the office grinning from ear-to-ear.  Does this really happen?  Yes, most of the time.  And when it doesn’t, we work even harder to ensure that we improve your child’s level of familiarity and enthusiasm with each subsequent appointment.

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DC Pediatric Smiles is now scheduling new patients! They look forward to seeing your smiling face in their office soon!

DC Pediatric Smiles is located at 5640 Shields Dr. in Bethesda, MD. They can be reached at 301.363.9026.



Premama Maternity Wellness

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I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with baby #3! This pregnancy is going by so quickly. Thankfully after a rough first trimester, I have been feeling pretty good ever since! With two little ones who keep me on the go constantly and a husband who works extremely long hours, I’ve had to focus on staying healthy and energized to get through this pregnancy. I’ve been really trying to eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and take vitamins and supplements. A brand that I recently became aware of with lots of helpful “non-pill” supplements is Premama.

Premama® was born from the idea that daily prenatal essentials and maternity supplements should be easy to take and easy on the stomach. Since 2011, Premama has endeavored to make all moms happier with its best-in-class line of natural powdered supplements formulated to support preconception through postnatal nutritional needs, concerns and conditions. Our pill-free, drink mix solutions contain high-quality, clinically-studied and physician-approved ingredients, and are designed to blend seamlessly with liquids and soft foods. Just mix and enjoy! The award winning Premama is available online at drinkpremama.com and retailers across the US, including GNC, CVS, Sprout’s, Buy Buy Baby, Vitamin Shoppe, H-E-B, Target.com, Diapers.com, Jet.com and Amazon.

One Premama product that I have found especially helpful during this pregnancy is the Premama Prenatal Fiber + Probiotic Soft Chew. They actually taste really good – almost like a piece of candy.

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  • Supports healthy digestion and a healthy immune system during pregnancy
  • May ease constipation, bloating and other minor digestive discomforts associated with pregnancy
  • Formulated with 1 Billion CFUs of Probiotics and 2g of Fiber per chew
  • Vegetarian, naturally flavored
  • Vanilla Caramel flavored

Premama also makes these other supplements for before, during, and after pregnancy:

  • Premama Fertility Supplement Drink Mix
  • Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix
  • Premama Prenatal Vitamin + DHA Drink Mix
  • Premama Prenatal Vitamin + DHA Gummy
  • Premama Prenatal Sleep Aid Soft Chew
  • Premama Prenatal Energy Drink Mix
  • Premama Lactation Supplement Drink Mix

If you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive, you should definitely head over to the Premama website and request free samples! They also offer a coupon you can use online or in stores. In the D.C. area, Premama products are carried at Target, CVS, GNC, and the Vitamin Shoppe.

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National Building Museum’s “Hive” Exhibit

The National Building Museum’s highly anticipated Hive installation is now open and, trust us, it’s a must-do for both D.C. families and visitors! As part of the Summer Block Party series, Studio Gang (an architecture and urban design practice based in Chicago and New York) brings us the tallest installation to ever be constructed in the historic Great Hall—it’s built with more than 2,500 wound paper tubes. The Hive consists of three interconnected domed chambers reaching 60 feet tall that are designed to be experienced through sight and sound. This interactive exhibit is very kid-friendly and something the whole family can enjoy together. (Not to mention the perfect summer outing to escape the D.C. heat and humidity!) I took my girls the day it opened and we had such a fun morning at the museum.

Click here to read our article on Mommy Nearest to see what all the “buzz” is about, and make sure to plan your visit before the exhibit closes on September 4.

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Badlands Play Space

Badlands, the new nature-inspired play space is now open in Rockville, MD. You must check it out if you are in the D.C. area. It’s a 30,000 square foot place where your kids will be happy to play for hours! My girls have been begging me to take them back ever since we attended the preview.

Click here to read our article on Mommy Nearest to find out just how much fun you’ll have at Badlands!

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Day Trip to Chesapeake Beach, MD

We spent the 4th of July at one of our favorite little beaches on the bay. Brownie’s beach (also known as Bayfront beach) is just an hour away from D.C., so it’s much easier to travel to than the Atlantic. My girls especially love this beach because there are lots of fossilized shark teeth to hunt for and they are very easy to find.

Use our family guide to start planning your trip! Click here to read the article on Mommy Nearest.

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Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Adventure Theatre – Review

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Junie B. Jones is Not A Crook is now showing at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park. This is one that you should not miss this summer. It is so entertaining and hilarious! I’ve been taking my daughters to shows at Adventure Theatre for a few years and this is definitely our favorite yet. We are even planning to go see it a second time!

Junie-2The cast of Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook. Photo by Bruce Douglas.

The show is based on the popular book series by Barbara Park and is directed by Rick Hammerly. “When Junie B. Jones, with her two bestest friends in the world, loses her new furry mittens to some “stealers,” she has to investigate. But Junie B. might have something she forgot to return, too.” Is it “Finders Keepers”? The performance takes the audience along as Junie explores this question.

The show is recommended for all ages and runs about 80 minutes with no intermission. From beginning to end, the energy is high and my daughter and I were both laughing throughout. There are a couple of cute musical numbers when you just can’t help but start singing along!

junieb1Megan Gravies as Junie B in Junie B Jones is Not a Crook. Photo by Michael Horan.

We were “wowed” the moment we walked into the theatre and saw the bright and beautifully designed set. A few of the supporting cast members were out welcoming guests while swinging on the swings and hanging from the monkey bars.  There are lots of objects hidden in the rafters of the ceiling, so it was fun to play a game of “eye spy” before the show started. The costumes were equally impressive! And of course the acting was brilliant too!

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Go see this show! (Buy tickets here.) It’s the perfect summer outing with your kids. Make a day of it and ride the Dentzel Carousel while you are at Glen Echo. There is also a little cafe where you can grab lunch or a snack and a playground too.

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A Day at Dutch Wonderland

I had heard from several friends that Dutch Wonderland was the perfect place for little kids, so I wanted to make sure we experienced it this summer. My family spent the day there earlier last week and had the best time! It exceeded my expectations in every way and I’m sure we will make a return visit next summer!

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Dutch Wonderland is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania about 2-2.5 hours from the DC area. We drove up in the morning and arrived when they opened at 10am and then drove home later that afternoon. Everything was very easy and convenient for an outing with little kids. Dutch Wonderland has general parking for $5 or preferred parking for $15. We opted for the preferred, so we could park right in front just steps away from the entrance. The quaint amusement park is surrounded by farmland where you can see cattle grazing the fields. They have 35 rides, shows, and an awesome splash park called Duke’s Lagoon.

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The rides are geared towards smaller children – my almost 4 year old and 6 year old could go on pretty much all the rides. There are several rides that the whole family can enjoy together too.

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The park is incredibly clean (yes, even the bathrooms) and well-kept. All of the employees were so nice and helpful.  The park offers so much and all within a pretty small area – very walkable with small children in tow.

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The park has charming Amish touches throughout, like the iconic giant pretzel that also makes for a good photo opp.

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My daughter loved playing in this horse and carriage! There is also a life-size cow replica that kids can “milk” and an animatronic display of Amish life.

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In addition to all the fun rides, Dutch Wonderland offers several great shows throughout the day. We loved the “Adventures of the Frog Prince” performed on the aqua stage. “A theatrical high dive show encompassing all the magic, mystery, costuming, set design and special effects of a fairytale, plus world class diving.”

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After we had gone on all the rides, watched a show, and had lunch we headed over to Duke’s Lagoon for some water fun! This area is also very clean and has lots of seating for parents surrounding the splash park. The kid-sized water slides are great for little ones. There are attentive life guards making sure the children wait their turn to go down the slides.

Before leaving for the day, we stopped in the gift shop so Clara and Mae could each pick out a toy. They have a great selection and I found that the items were not over priced. Dutch Wonderland was a great experience for our family! Add it to your summer bucket list for sure!

Use code CapitolMommaSBlog17 to save $4 per ticket or click the link here.

General admission is $41.99, 4-day advance tickets $38.99, 7-day advance tickets $35.99. All tickets include a preview pass – Enjoy the last three hours of the park the night before you visit for a full day – FREE! Preview after 3:00 pm when the Park closes at 6 pm. Preview after 5:30 pm when the Park closes at 8:30 pm.

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Arts on the Horizon Presents By the Seashore + GIVEAWAY!

bytheseashore-logo-webArts on the Horizon is a theatre for children ages 0-6 years old in Northern Virginia. Their mission is to offer high-quality theatre for young children and their families at an affordable rate. Their shows are 30 minutes in length and are performed by professional actors. We attended one of their performances earlier this year and loved it. See my review here. The next show coming up is called By the Seashore and is recommended for ages 0-2.

By the Seashore takes us on a magical journey to a place children love to visit – the beach!  From birds and fish, to sand and water, and everything in-between, young audience members are invited to explore all the amazing things we find on the shore, in the ocean, and in the sky (with no need for wings or scuba gear!). Using an imaginative mix of puppetry, movement, and sound, this sensory-filled production is specifically designed for babies and young toddlers.

I have two family 4-packs of tickets to giveaway! One 4-pack for the July 13th show at 10:30am, and one for July 15th at 10am. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. The winners will be drawn and notified on June 30th. Good luck!

Location of performance:
The Lab at Convergence
1819 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22302

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, July 13th at 10:30am
Friday, July 14th at 10:30am
Saturday, July 15th at 10:00am
Saturday, July 15th at 11:30am (Sign-interpreted performance)
Tuesday, July 18th at 10:30am
Wednesday, July 19th at 10:30am
Thursday, July 20th at 10:30am
Friday, July 21st at 10:30am
Saturday, July 22nd at 10:00am
Saturday, July 22nd at 11:30am
Tuesday, July 25th at 10:30am
Wednesday, July 26th at 10:30am
Thursday, July 27th at 10:30am
Friday, July 28th at 10:30am
Saturday, July 29th at 10:00am
Saturday, July 29th at 11:30am

Tickets:

Tickets are $6.

Purchase tickets here: http://www.artsonthehorizon.org/by-the-seashore-buy-tickets.html



Educational Summer Activity: Make An Alligator and Learn About the Letter A

Summer break is here! I have lots of fun outings and field trips planned for my girls over the next three months but I also want to work in some educational activities at home as much as I can. I think it’s important to keep their brains active, especially for my oldest daughter after learning so many new skills in Kindergarten this year.

I have a super cute Alligator activity from Education.com to share with you. It’s focused on reading and writing skills for Kindergarten aged children.

Make An Alligator and Learn About the Letter A

Sure, Apple starts with A… but so do big, green Alligators! Kindergarten is an important time when kids are learning about letters and sounds. In this activity, your child will have fun crafting an alligator out of household items while developing “letter-sound correspondence,” a skill that will prepare him for reading by connecting specific sounds to letters and will eventually help him link those sounds into words.

What You Need:
Cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
Green paint
Scissors
Green construction paper
2 googly eyes from an arts and crafts store
Black permanent marker
1 piece of plain white paper

What You Do:

  1. Help your child paint the cardboard tube with green paint, and set it aside to dry.
  2. While you’re waiting, cut the plain white paper into strips lengthwise, 1”x11”. Tape three of them end to end to make one strip that’s 33” inches long.
  3. Then, ask your child how many words he can come up with that start with the letter A. Let him dictate as you write the words in clear block letters onto the 33″ strip. If your child knows how to write a word, let him write it down for you. See if you can fill the whole long sheet. When you’ve filled the paper with all the “A” words you can think of, roll up the strip tightly.
  4. By now, the paint on the tube should be dry. Help your child use the scissors to cut a v-shaped opening in the front of the cardboard tube for a mouth. Use the sharpie to draw teeth. Then help him use the sharpie marker to draw on scales for the alligator. Cut four legs from the green construction paper, two stand-up “eyes,” and a pointy tail.
  5. Glue the legs onto the bottom of the alligator, the tail onto the back, and the eyes on top of the construction paper.
  6. Glue the end of your rolled up “word” strip inside the alligator’s mouth. A is for alligator…but when you and your child unroll the words, it’s for dozens of other stuff too which your child will be reading before you know it.

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The Jungle Book at Encore Stage & Studio

DSC_0242From left to right: Bagheera (Gia Jackson), Baloo (Kyra Radomsky), Mowgli (Ryely Rogers), Kaa (Tara Hall), King Monkey (Declan Roberts).  Photo by Aileen Pangan.

The Jungle Book is a classic that my oldest daughter Clara and I have enjoyed reading and watching on screen together many times. When I saw that the show would be playing at Encore, I knew she would be excited to go see it live at the theater. It’s always inspiring for her to see other children performing on stage. Encore’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is creative, entertaining and makes for a fun family outing to the theatre.

Mowgli is taught the ways of the jungle by a bear named Baloo and Bagheera, a panther, and Kaa the snake. When father wolf becomes too old to rule his animal kingdom, an angry Tiger named Shere Khan who has been out to get Mowgli since he was a young boy, tries to name himself the new king. Mowgli, with the help of the nearby villagers and a treasure given to him from ancient ruins, must stop the tiger from becoming the new king, and help restore order in the jungle again.

DSC_0035The wolf pack teaches Mowgli the way of the Jungle. From left to right: Wolf 1 (Sam Regardie), Wolf 4 (Riley Dennis), Wolf 2 (Caroline Raymond) and Wolf 3 (Kylen Davis). Photo by Larry McClemons

The set was simple but effective with tall trees, vines, and boulders to create the jungle scene. The costumes were creative and interpretive. We thought the kids all did a great job delivering their lines and providing humor throughout the performance. The show was a bit shorter than Encore’s previous productions (about 1 hour 15 minutes with an intermission). So I would recommend this for ages 4+. Go see it this weekend for a nice air conditioned break from the heat. There are four performances remaining:

Friday, June 9th 7:30pm
Saturday, June 10th 11am and 3pm
Sunday, June 11th 3pm

Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.

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Tips for your visit:
•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $12 children, students, seniors, and military.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.

Also, Encore Stage & Studio announced their 2017/2018 season last weekend. They have some great shows lined up. I’m especially looking forward to Disney’s The Lion King Jr. and James and the Giant Peach!