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Little Lou celebrated the big 0-1 two days ago, so I just finished the scramble for one-year-old gift ideas and it’s fresh in my head. Little Lou is my second, so I feel like I have some perspective on what kids this age will actually play with, and since S. and I both have January babes, I’ll let you in on a well-tested method we’ve both employed for combating gift-o-palooza: The Secret Toy Closet.
Several months ago, my husband and I attended a workshop about bringing Montessori methods into the home.  We went in not knowing a thing about Montessori...other than there seems to be quite a buzz about it among parents.  (Montessori or no? Are you Waldorf?  Play-based?)   I'm the silly girl that still thought pre-school started at age 4.  Oops. In...
Mostly because my clothes don’t fit properly. Which is because I am pregnant. I get that, but it is still a tough pill to swallow some days. Before I became pregnant, I heard stories about women who never needed to shop in the dreaded maternity section. I saw pictures of the freak-of-nature Heidi Klum and other celebrity mamas who are dressed by professionals and photographed only from certain angles. And I had this fantasy that my baby bump would be just that, an adorable basketball on the front of my body that had no adverse effects on anywhere else. I was misinformed.
M and I were recently interviewed by the Denver Post about how to keep the little ones entertained (but safe) at home. You can read the full article here. My contribution to the article centered on the transformation my balcony goes through each summer...I've spent the last two years trying to find items that look cool, and are also portable, washable and store-able. Lastly, I want to be able to quickly transform the space from a day-use play space, to a night-use dinner space. Here's what I've found:
As soon as you announce your pregnancy to your loved ones and the world, hot of on the heels of joyful congratulations comes unsolicited advice. Enough of my friends are now mothers that this onslaught of information was not completely unexpected. I realize that within people's love for us and excitement for the changes coming in our lives comes their natural urge to help in some way. And sharing stories, tips, warnings and encouragement is one way of providing that help before the baby arrives, when there isn't much tangible to do. I am a firm believer in the wisdom than can come with experience, so I have taken many of these offerings to heart. I'm no fool.
I was reading a back issue of the "Grandma Says" newsletter (published by the Growing Child folks - read more about how much I love them here)...and I came across this poem, published in 1972. Apparently, this poem used to be posted everywhere: schools, doctor's offices, daycares, etc. Ask your mom about it - I'll bet she recognizes it. (mine did!) If ever there were words for parents to live by, this is it.
...this is simply a newsletter that started in 1971, and will, very patiently, explain to us newbie mums why manners are still important (hint: it's all about "caring and consideration"), and what you can and cannot expect from your 2-year-5-month-old in terms of manners. This is a newsletter that teaches parents specific language and behaviors to make us more effective parents (Say, "Hitting hurts Peter" rather than "Don't Hit"). This is a newsletter that encourages parents to focus on what's important: helping your child develop courage and independence, empathy, imagination.
At a ladies night out recently, we lighted on the topic of accidental abandonment. People whose babies crawl out of the house and into the road to the amazement of stunned school bus drivers, who forget their children at gas stations, at daycare, at stores, or worse, in the car. Of the six women present, there was a split between those of us who could understand how these things may happen and those who just couldn’t. That is, until one pointed out that all of these circumstances seem to arise from the anecdotally well-documented affliction of mom brain--being too harried and too tired--plus, the kicker, deviating from routine. Somberly, heads nodding with the heaviness of being up past 10 PM, a bit too much Sangria, and with an eye to hedging our bets with fate, we all agreed it could certainly happen to anyone. I’m glad to say I was on the side of understanding from the get-go, because after today, I’d have to eat my hat.
Each summer, I begin a quest that ultimately leaves me frustrated and my lips dry: the quest for a lip gloss with SPF. Yes, you can find lipsticks with SPF, or chapstick types with SPF. But gloss? Good luck. However, this summer, spurred on by the EWG's latest sunscreen report (and the fact that I'm pregnant), I started my quest up again. This time, I think I've found a near-perfect combo...
My mother hates it when I use the word "pissed". But sometimes it's the only word for the job. And after reading through the EWG's 2010 report on sunscreen, I was pissed. According to the EWG's latest study, the vast majority of sunscreens on the market are at best ineffective, and at worst, harmful. In fact, the EWG only recommended 8% of the sunscreens they studied. And the worst of the bunch? Yup - sunscreens marketed for use on babies and children. For shame.