Archive for Babies & Parenting

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.

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.


Shark Birthday Pool Party

Shark Birthday - Pool Party

Shark Birthday – Pool Party


After posting pictures from Connor’s 2nd birthday party last week, I realized that I never got around to posting any photos of Connor’s 1st birthday party last summer. It was a shark-themed pool party, with a shark cake (those are supposed to be fins around the cake border) and gummy sharks as favors.


Upper Cape with Kids

Check out my latest post on Boston Mamas, “14 Awesome Things to Do On Upper Cape Cod.”

Upper Cape Cod with Kids

Upper Cape Cod with Kids

I have such fond childhood memories of spending summers on Cape Cod. Even after 30-some years, I haven’t tired of going there summer after summer. And now that I’m a mom, I’m eager to share the experience with my son and introduce him to all that the Upper Cape (Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, and Barnstable) has to offer. I particularly love the Upper Cape because it’s closer to Boston — handy when traveling with kids who may not tolerate long car rides, and wonderful for day trips if overnight lodging is out of budget. In the post, I offer several suggestions for family-friendly activities in the area.

Read the rest of the article on Boston Mamas.


10 Fun Activities for Grandparents + Kids

Check out my latest Boston Mamas post, “10 Fun Activities for Grandparents + Kids.”

Grandparents + Kids - Intergenerational bonds

Many of us have plans to bring our kids to visit their grandparents sometime during the summer. Sometimes it can be challenging to bridge the generation gap and figure out what to do together, particularly if the two generations haven’t had much face time, whether due to distance or other factors. In this post, I offer 10 activities to help break the ice and help grandparents and kids enjoy quality time together and develop strong intergenerational bonds. Read the rest of the article on Boston Mamas.

12 Great Gifts for New Moms

Check out my latest Boston Mamas post, “12 Great Gifts for New Moms.”

These days it seems that baby announcements from friends roll in about one per week and I spend my weekends cuddling squishy newborn after squishy newborn (no complaints here!). I’ve realized that often we focus on gifts for the new baby and sometimes forget the person who has been through the most — the new mama! In today’s Boston Mamas post, I share some of my favorite gift ideas for new moms…

Read the rest of the article on Boston Mamas: 12 Great Gifts for New Moms.


How to Reduce Anxiety around Doctor Visits

Check out my latest Boston Mamas post, “How to Reduce Anxiety around Doctor Visits.“

Visits to the pediatrician have become a nightmare since our little one has entered toddlerhood, a stage in which he’s old enough to remember past experiences (particularly painful ones like shots) yet still too young to comprehend everything and be reasoned with. From the moment we enter the waiting area until we leave the building, he is in hysterics, occasionally resulting in an incomplete exam. Anxiety over visiting the doctor is common for kids, but can become stressful and troublesome when it is so severe that it interferes with the doctor doing his/her job. In my post, I offer some tips we have found helpful to reduce anxiety around these visits.

Read the rest of the article on Boston Mamas.

Kidville (more like KidHeaven)

This past Saturday, we attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of Kidville in Wellesley. Our schedules have been jam-packed lately, but we decided to make it a priority to check this place out as we’ve been actively looking (surprisingly without much success) for fun, new, educational activities in our community to entertain our little guy. I’m so glad we went because this is precisely the type of local family-friendly venue that we have been searching for!

Their all-in-one resource facility is quite impressive and I’m pretty sure it was the most fun-filled morning of my almost-two-year-old son’s life thus far. Afterall, it’s not every day that he gets to climb a rock wall, swing from uneven bars, bounce on a massive trampoline, construct a giant soft block tower, and dance in the front row of a live Rockin’ Railroad concert!

As usual, we arrived a few minutes early and were officially the first family to visit Kidville Wellesley! Exciting! As we waited for the rest of the families to file in (and file in they did — there must have been hundreds of people there), we were warmly welcomed by one of the co-owners, Harvard Pan. And during the ribbon cutting ceremony, we were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful shout out to Talking Thirty by co-owner, Cathy Tai.

Kidville Wellesley Ribbon Cutting

Kidville Wellesley Ribbon Cutting

So what exactly is Kidville? Kidville Wellesley is a new play and learning space in Wellesley Center (in the location of the former Rugged Bear store in Wellesley Center) geared towards serving families like ours with active little tikes. They offer a variety of classes in music, art and gym for babies, toddlers and kids newborn through 6-years old. They also offer a preschool alternative program (Kidville University – KVU) and summer camps.

The interior of Kidville Wellesley features high-ceilings and large open spaces tastefully decorated in bright, bold colors. It contains classrooms, a retail boutique, and an awesome indoor playspace that made my toddler shout “YAY!” upon first entry. There’s even a little salon there where the wee ones can get their hair cut while sitting in an adorable tiny red airplane. How cute is this?!

Kidville Wellesley Salon

We’re always looking for new places to entertain C. Unfortunately, most of the children’s places we’ve been to lately from children’s museums to indoor playgrounds have been a bit old, run-down and just icky sticky. So, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Kidville’s facility is brand new, spacious, uncluttered, and immaculate. A germophobic mama’s dream! I really hope it stays this clean in the years to come.

We began the morning by enjoying some open gym time in the enormous indoor playspace. This place had just about everything — rock climbing wall, oversized trampoline, balance beam, uneven bars, basketball hoops, soft padded blocks, tumbling mats of all shapes and sizes, and swings hung by chains from the ceiling. My little guy was beyond thrilled to explore it all. I just wish it were socially acceptable for thirty-something adults to climb on, jump off, and swing from all the play structures, too!


Kidville Wellesley Playspace


Kidville Wellesley's Climbing Wall


Kidville Wellesley's Playspace



Basketball at Kidville Wellesley

By far, the highlight of our visit was the Rockin’ Railroad Concert. A live 4-piece children’s band led by a conductor and co-conductor enthusiastically played a set of upbeat toddler tunes, some familiar and some refreshingly new to us. To make it extra exciting, they even brought out a bubble maker and some special puppet friends during the show. The conductor’s genuine enthusiasm for the music and encouraging manner seemed to instill confidence in my very-shy-lil guy to get up and shake his baby booty! It was indeed a rockin’ musical adventure enjoyed by both children and parents alike.


Kidville Wellesley Rockin' Railroad Concert


Kidville Wellesley's Rockin' Railroad Concert


Kidville Wellesley Rockin' Railroad Concert


Kidville Wellesley Rockin' Railroad Concert


It’s hard to find words to express our enthusiasm for this place. Let me just say this: When we got home, our normally-nap- resistant little man voluntarily took an EXTRA nap because he was just that exhausted from all the festivities. That’s HUGE and pretty much guarantees that we’ll be back for more.

All too often, we visit kids’ venues only to find that Connor is too young to participate in many of the activities. What I enjoyed about Kidville was that the environment, equipment, and activities were safe and engaging for even very young toddlers and babies.

Music exploration at Kidville Wellesley


I’ve already decided that we are just going to HAVE to have one of Connor’s birthday parties here someday.  First, he just has to make some new little friends to invite. Maybe he’ll meet them at Kidville. ;-)

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post; however, I did receive a complimentary goody bag from Kidville/Koop Communications and a complimentary introductory semester of a Kidville class. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.