Creating a Kickass Backyard For Open-Ended Play

Summer is almost over and a lot of us are finally dreaming about the cooler season of fall. Pumpkin spice everything, boots, scarves, and warm apple cider are just a few of the daily daydreams you may be having as you pack up your inflatable pool and pull out the fire pit. For many places in the United States, fall is one of the few times during the year where everyone actually wants to be outside. And even though you probably spent a fair share of time outside this summer, this time you don’t have to worry about bugs, humidity, or sunburns. Fall is the time to get the kids outside before it gets too cold, so why not create a backyard that both you and the kids (and probably some other kids from the neighborhood) can enjoy before winter cabin fever sets in!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Going to a Crowded Place and What to do if You Are Separated from Your Child

Do you have a trip to a theme park or the beach coming up? Going to places where the crowds of people are thick and it is difficult to keep track of your child can be a nerve-wracking experience. This is especially increased if your child is very eager to run and play.

It is one of the scariest feelings in the world to find yourself in a situation where you can’t find your child. Your baby is going to be feeling the same fears which will only add to your anxiety. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person File, as of December 31, 2016, there are 33,706 active missing person records for juveniles under the age of 18.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

#IMOMSOHARD Judge Me Not

#IMOMSOHARD – we mean, what mom doesn’t?? Well, a couple of moms decided to grab a camera, set the stage in the playroom, and talk about how they were screwing it all up – hard! Meet Jen Smedley and Kristen Hedley who discuss the ongoing cycle of criticism, whether real or perceived, that causes moms to lose their confidence. They paired up with Yoplait yogurt to discover new research that suggests moms are internalizing the judgment and even changing the way they are parenting as a result. To judge or not to judge, what’s funny about that? Well, if it has anything to do with these two… you might be surprised! 

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Human (Sex) Trafficking and What You Need to Know

Recently, it seems as though every day there is an article in the news, on Facebook, or on television about a human trafficking operation and its victims. Most of us, well removed from the situation, simply glance at the media piece, thank God it’s not our children and move on never giving the issue a second thought. Unfortunately, this dark and discreet industry has become a part of our culture, a part of our country, and is much more flagrant and widespread than we may think.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Why I Didn’t Redshirt My Child

Academically redshirting your child is a topic often discussed by parents as their children get ready to enter kindergarten. In short, redshirting your child for kindergarten means to hold them back from attending kindergarten even though they would otherwise be eligible to attend according to the state cutoff age. Although academic research has found no significant long-term difference in redshirting your child, many parents decide to do so in order to allow their child to grow and mature for an additional year. Some parents, however, decide that redshirting isn’t the best option. Even though their child is “young”, in that they have a later summer or early fall birthday, these parents decide their child is ready to head off to big kid school. Reasons vary, from their child being academically ready to wanting their child to finish their school career earlier. One mom decided to do just that – send her child to kindergarten early – despite others telling her it wasn’t the best decision. And she’s happy that she did. 

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Eating Organic Foods With 9 Children To Feed? Absolutely!

How in the world do you feed nine children!? AND organic foods at that? Prioritize. It really is that simple. Whether the children were planned or not, they’re here now, and beyond breastfeeding or formula, it’s now time to move them onto solids. Perhaps you’re one of those crunchy mommas who want nothing but the most naturally grown and chemical free foods to ever touch your child’s lips – or you’re just good with wholesome food, organic on occasion is fine. Either way, you really do want organic, but let’s be real. Organic foods are 40-100% MORE expensive than their conventional counterparts, so let’s set aside feeding one child organic, but NINE!? Yes, and with a budget most families are on for a family of 4-6!

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Why I Redshirted My Child

Getting ready to send your baby to kindergarten is an emotional process for both the parents and the child. Many parents with summer or early fall babies, or “early” kindergarteners, often wonder if their child is in fact ready to head off to big kid school. There are many factors that a family may take into account when trying to decide to academically redshirt, or hold back, their child from entering kindergarten when they are of the appropriate age. Their child may not be academically or socially ready, they may be of small stature, or the parents may believe their child will have an advantage if they wait another year. Many experts believe that there is no benefit to academically redshirting children but each parent needs to make the best decision for their family and their child. Below is the story of one mom who decided to redshirt her child, and why she thinks it was their best decision.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

7 Unique Ways to Make the Most of the Summer Before Kindergarten

There is a lot of information out there about kindergarten readiness, or what to do the summer before kindergarten. But what about just enjoying the summer and making the most of the last few months together? The last few months of your babies being babies. (Well, let’s be honest they will be your babies forever). This summer is your last before kindergarten, but before you know it, it will be your last before college. Make it count.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

How to Avoid Becoming a Cartoon of Yourself

With motherhood comes new pressures, habits, and stress. How you manage those stressors can often define who you are, both internally and to those around you. Before kids, you may have said “I’ll never do X” or “I can’t believe Suzy does Y”.  We’ve all met moms who have become stereotypes, but few people intentionally want to embody those roles.

The quick infographic below demonstrates some of the most common stereotypes mom’s interact with. Is there anyone you recognize?

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Exploring the World With Science: Water Cycle

Water is all around us. It affects every facet of our lives. We need water for survival; 80% of our bodies are made of water. But where does water come from? The warming of spring and summer provides the perfect time to get out and explore the water around us. While we are enjoying the lazy days on the lake or the rushing waves of the ocean, stop to take a few minutes to educate your little one on the importance of water and where it comes from.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

9 Activities to Enjoy with Your Baby and Dog

Almost half of the households in the United States have a dog. Adding a new baby into the family can change the dynamics and the routines in your home. Sometimes it can be traumatic for your first furry love, but it doesn’t have to be like that. You always can find ways for your dog to be an active member of your child’s development.

Today we will talk about nine activities that your dog will enjoy with your baby.

Continue Reading2 Comments

4 things kids don’t need — and what to give them instead

Parenthood is full of so many questions. There’s no manual on how to be a good parent, and the whole experience can often seem daunting. After all, you’re in charge of shaping little humans to grow up and be upstanding citizens and overall good people. That’s no simple task, by any means. With all the unknowns in parenting, we’ve got something you can count on, no matter what your situation: 4 things your kids don’t need, and what to give them instead.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Greek Life For Non-Greek Parents

If you haven’t personally experienced fraternity and sorority life, chances are everything you know about “being Greek” comes from a combination of Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, and SNL.

These tongue in cheek depictions are far from the reality that young men and women experience throughout the country. We’ve put together some of the common questions that families want to ask before their son or daughter signs up for fraternity life.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Rules for sending your crew to college

When you pack up the car and head off to the hallowed halls of college, it’s a far different world from when you kissed your baby goodbye outside the kindergarten classroom. As a parent, sending a child off to college is a huge accomplishment that should be recognized as its own important stage of life. With the “dangers” of co-ed dormitories, late night parties, and professors with high standards, you’ll cross your fingers and hope your son or daughter has everything they need to be successful during their four (or 5-6 years) of undergraduate education.

We’ve put together a list of rules you should be aware of when your baby packs up their bags and heads to campus for the first time.

Continue ReadingNo Comments

Should You Redshirt your Kindergartener?

If you have a child with a late summer or early autumn birthday, the thought to hold your child back from kindergarten for one extra year may have crossed your mind. There are quite a few factors that can come into play when trying to decide if “big kid” school is right for your baby, and ultimately, as a parent, you know best. But we all want to do our research when making this decision as it will impact the rest of your child’s school career. That’s why we have put together some of the reasons for holding your child back and against holding your child back another year. 

Continue ReadingNo Comments