Easter fun

With Valentine’s Day behind us, we have moved on to Easter fun! I saw this idea for an Easter Bunny craft project on Facebook and knew I had to try it with Connor as he’s become very interested in any projects involving glue and pom poms lately. The project is actually made with cotton balls, but he doesn’t need to know that…

I strategically planned for us to make Connor’s foot prints last night right before bath time (and I used Pixlr to get the image to the right shade of pink since we didn’t have pink paint on hand) and then we worked on the rest this morning after breakfast as we chatted away about the Easter Bunny’s visit last year.

I was pleasantly surprised by how carefully Connor placed the cotton balls around the perimeter of the face and the pink of the ears. Unfortunately he lost interest after a while (this thing takes a lot of cotton balls!) so I ended up helping him fill out the tummy.

Easter Bunny craft project for kids

Also check out these little Easter egg cupcakes (carrot cake) I made a while back. Super quick and easy to make and fun to assemble! Will be making these with the little man this weekend, too.

Easter egg cupcakes

Indoor Kids’ Gym in Basement

 

A few weeks ago, while watching Connor happily run around in an indoor playspace nearby, I casually mentioned to the hubby that I would love to build a kids’ gym in our house so that our super-active toddler could expend more energy on a daily basis (and hopefully put up less of a fight at nap time!).

The conversation ended there and I wasn’t even sure if Jack had heard me.

But earlier this week, Jack surprised Connor (and me!) by turning our basement into an indoor kids’ gym! Check it out!

Indoor Kids' Gym in Basement

So far, the gym has swings, a rock climbing wall, a rope ladder, individual climbing rope, a set of rings/bar combo, a horizontal bar, play parachute, foam building blocks, an obstacle course of tents and tunnels, basketball hoop, oversized tennis balls, and 5 large gymnastics/tumbling mats. Jack also laid large foam tiles on the floor that give them some extra cushion.

One great thing about it is that all of the equipment can be taken down quickly, safely, and easily and the room can be cleared for an impromptu family soccer match. We’re thinking of adding two goals next.

I’m so excited to have a safe place where C can run, climb, swing, and jump and I don’t have to worry about him catching every single virus on earth from other kids during cold/flu season. It certainly came in handy on Wednesday’s snow day when we were all cooped up inside all day and night!

12 Ways to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Check out my latest post on Boston Mamas: 12 Ways to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth.

Pediatric dentists recommend cleaning your children’s teeth as soon as the first baby teeth emerge. According to the CDC, nearly 20% of children 2 and 5 years old already have at least one untreated cavity. Yikes.

Our 2-year-old protested tooth brushing daily until we took him to a pediatric dentist, who shared some useful tips with us. The following is a list of the best tips that we’ve gathered from veteran moms, pediatric dentists, and our own trial and error:

Check out the rest of my post on Boston Mamas.

7 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Kids

Check out my latest post on Boston Mamas: 7 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Kids.

Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, I was often the only Asian student in my class, and I looked forward to the Lunar New Year as an opportunity to share our cultural traditions (and my mom’s yummy cooking) with my classmates. Although I can’t share my mom’s dumplings with all of you (sorry!), in my post I offer some ideas for celebrating the upcoming Lunar New Year (January 31), the Year of the Horse, with your kids!

Read the rest of my post on Boston Mamas.

Mommy Cards Giveaway

Over the past two years or so, there’s this one mom who I have run into everywhere around town. Library, playgrounds, music class, playspace, gym – she’s everywhere. Her little guy is the same age as mine, and they play together beautifully. Although I’ve met tons of other local moms, this mom is the only one I could actually see myself being real friends with.

By now, we know each other’s kid’s names, and have chatted plenty about local kiddie attractions and mommy stuff, but between wrangling two very active toddler boys, there’s just never seems to be enough time for formal introductions or to jot down each other’s email addresses.

So I was really excited when I received this set of personalized mommy cards the other day from Tiny Acorns! How adorable are they?! They are the perfect way to simplify the process of meeting other moms and reduce awkward fumbling for pens and exchanging of contact information.

Tiny Acorns Mommy Card
Visit Tiny Acorns‘ Etsy store to check out some of their other great products, including gift wrap tags, wedding/shower notecards, and thank you notes for kids.

Stephanie at Tiny Acorns has generously offered to give away two sets of mommy cards (one set for the winner and one set for the winner to gift to a friend) to one lucky Talking Thirty reader!

Here’s how to enter:

For your first entry (mandatory), “like” Talking Thirty on Facebook and leave a comment on this post that you’ve done so. If you already “like” Talking Thirty on FB, just leave a comment on this post explaining that.
For additional entries (optional):

  • Visit Tiny Acorns and leave a comment on this blog about your favorite Tiny Acorns product/design.
  • Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and leave a separate comment on this post that you’ve done so.
  • Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook and leave a separate comment on this post that you’ve done so.US and Canadian entrants ages 18+ are welcome to enter.

    Entry period closes at noon EST, December 10, 2013.

One lucky winner drawn randomly will receive a set of mommy cards for themselves and one additional set to gift to a friend. The winner will be notified directly via e-mail and listed on this blog using first name and last initial only.

 

(Update on 12/10/13: CONGRATULATIONS TO MARIANNE C., our lucky winner! This giveaway has ended. Thank you to all who entered.)

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post; however, I did receive a complimentary set of mommy cards from Tiny Acorns. All images, thoughts, and opinions in this post are my own and I only feature products on Talking Thirty about which I am genuinely enthused.

10 Great Spots for Family Photos in Massachusetts

Check out my post on Boston Mamas today: 10 Great Spots for Family Photos in Massachusetts.

With Halloween behind us, and the holiday season just around the bend (AHHHH!), I’m sure I’m not the only mom thinking ahead to family photos and holiday cards. If, like me, you prefer natural light portrait photography over indoor photos, there’s still time to head outdoors with the kiddos and take those holiday shots before the serious winter chill arrives. In my Boston Mamas post, I share 10 spots in Massachusetts that offer beautiful backdrops for family photos.

Head on over to Boston Mamas to check out the roundup: 10 Great Spots for Family Photos in Massachusetts.

Halloween Candy Hunt

We had family visiting this weekend so I put together some Halloween activities for C and his older (second) cousins, M and V (ages 4 and 7), including a “Ghost & Witch Hunt” which was really just a hunt for Halloween candy with little ghosts and witches taped to the front. I bought some Halloween-themed scrapbooking paper and was happy to have an excuse to use my 2-inch circle punch.

They all seemed to enjoy it, ran around outside for awhile, and got some fresh air so I considered it a success.

Both of the girls noticed that C, being a little guy, wasn’t as fast as they were at finding the goods so both of them shared some of their candy with C, without being asked by him or prompted by their mom.  Sweet, sweet girls. Loved watching the cousins interact like that.

Halloween candy hunt

 

Saw this “Boston Strong” pumpkin on my way in to work this morning and pulled over to take a quick pic.

Boston Strong pumpkin Halloween

Hope everyone has a fun, safe Halloween!

Halloween Playdate

 

It’s FRIDAY! Woo hoo! Hope you all had a superb week. By far, the highlight of our week was hosting Connor’s first Halloween playdate, a costume party with some of his very best pals (and mommy’s very best pals, too!).

Since most of the babies don’t eat solids yet, the menu of morning munchies was mostly geared towards satisfying the moms. We snacked on:
Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling,
Caramel pumpkin pie dip with honey graham crackers,
Apple cider from Bolton Spring Farm (the best!),
Fruit salad,
Pumpkin bread and bagels.

I made the Halloween-themed muffin toppers using The Silly Pearl’s Halloween printables and tweaked the colors a little bit to make it a bit more festive.

Halloween Playdate
Thanks to the mommies for allowing me to post the group picture of all our little ones! Have a great weekend!

Toddler Halloween Costumes

 

Toddler Halloween Costume- Pumpkin 

Toddler Halloween Costume- Tigger
C has two Halloween costumes this year and has been dressing up all month long! We bought the pumpkin costume at the end of the summer, but a few weeks later were given the Tigger costume from (some very awesome) friends. When people ask him what he’s going to be for Halloween, he tells them “punkin” but when it comes to putting one on, he always grabs for the Tigger one.

I’ll let him decide which one he’ll wear for trick-or-treating. It’ll be the perfect opportunity for toddler choice-making and encouraging autonomy and all that good stuff.

What are your little ones dressing up as for Halloween this year?

 

12 Ways to Manage Screen Time for Kids

Check out my latest post on Boston Mamas, “12 Ways to Manage Screen Time for Kids.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to effectively limit screen time for my toddler. We managed to keep his life screen-free for his first 12 months, but as he gets older, it’s becoming increasingly difficult, especially now that he’s more verbal about his wishes, strong-willed, and adept at manipulating electronic devices on his own (I’m not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed that he’s mastered the Apple swipe!).

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 and less than 2 hours per day for older children; a challenging expectation given that we’re parenting in an age in which we constantly encounter electronic media (TVs, smart phones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles, etc.) at home and in schools, libraries, waiting rooms, gyms, restaurants, etc.

I both want my kid to ultimately be technologically competent (and enjoy the benefits of technology) but I don’t want him to be a couch potato. I decided to query the mom community; what I found was a range of interesting techniques that real families are using to manage screen time in their households.

Head on over to Boston Mamas to read the full post: “12 Ways to Manage Screen Time for Kids.