Monday, December 19, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Planning a party for your little one?

Start here!

I saw this post by the Young House Love bloggers on BabyCenter: an adorable idea for a 1st birthday party, though you certainly could do it other years too.

Personally, we prefer the super low-key first birthday party with family only. I think Michael would get a kick out of a Dr. Seuss party even at age 4! But some of the suggestions are a great idea no matter your theme. I especially liked the 'guest book' idea.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Make your way to Bagel City, today if you can!

Rumors abound that the beloved Bagel City on Rockville Pike will be forced out by a new Walmart in 2013!

Don't be fooled by their vanilla website, Bagel City is a bagel destination! It's loaded of charm, character, and delicious bagels and schmears. Of course you can also get a black & white cookie, or rugelah, or any variety of Brown's soda.

Needless to say, the thought of them being forced out by Walmart makes me hungry for an egg & cheese on a sesame bagel.

Who wants to go with me tomorrow for lunch?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New guidelines for safe infant sleep

Announced today:
HHS AGENCIES EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR INFANT SAFE SLEEP RECOMMENDATIONS New recommendations based on research identifying risks for all infants

Friday, October 14, 2011

Best Booster Seat

This article on best booster seats was shared on the NIH Parenting Listserve today, but I thought it was worth reposting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to bully-proof your child: start early

My mom, a teacher of elementary and middle school children for 35 years, shared this article from CNN today on how to keep your kid safe from bullying. She thought the techniques suggested would be good for Michael. So, I'm passing them along to you guys as well.

Friday, October 7, 2011

And now let's talk about the other (and FIRST!) major relationship in our lives

[Additional note: I just finished reading all the recommendations... only to realize that the author is a bit 'preachy' on God stuff. Take it for what it's worth. I didn't write it.]

I'm always posting about our kids. Let's not forget our spouses.... another repost from Design Mom on how to have a happy marriage. Nothing earth-shattering here, but a nice reminder for us all as we head home for a long weekend with our lover, friend, partner, and co-parent of our children.

What we say to our kids matters... and the science to prove it

I saw a link to this article on Design Mom (a blog I often read that is mostly about the American author's experience raising children in France, where they are living at the moment. She has 5 children. I think they are Mormon.)

The meat of the article is a few paragraphs in. Here's the highlight to pique your interest:

Her most famous study, conducted in twelve different New York City schools along with Claudia Mueller, involved giving more than 400 fifth graders a relatively easy test consisting of nonverbal puzzles. After the children finished the test, the researchers told the students their score, and provided them with a single line of praise. Half of the kids were praised for their intelligence. “You must be smart at this,” the researcher said. The other students were praised for their effort: “You must have worked really hard.”

The students were then allowed to choose between two different subsequent tests. The first choice was described as a more difficult set of puzzles, but the kids were told that they’d learn a lot from attempting it. The other option was an easy test, similar to the test they’d just taken.

When Dweck was designing the experiment, she expected the different forms of praise to have a rather modest effect. After all, it was just one sentence. But it soon became clear that the type of compliment given to the fifth graders dramatically affected their choice of tests. When kids were praised for their effort, nearly 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. However, when kids were praised for their intelligence, most of them went for the easier test. What explains this difference? According to Dweck, praising kids for intelligence encourages them to “look” smart, which means that they shouldn’t risk making a mistake.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Elmo Documentary

I read about this new documentary film about the puppeteer behind Elmo on another blog, "Cup of Jo".

I thought our little gang might be interested.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Suggestions for activities for children aged 3 to 6

A former neighbor shared this through our listserve.The list below includes a number of activities that I had not yet considered for our 3-year-old.


The following suggestions are appropriate, purposeful activities that the child from 3
to 6 years enjoys. They help to construct the child’s personality. Prepare the materials
and present the activities in such a way that your child will know how to execute each
activity independently.

Care of person
• The child should be responsible for bathing, brushing teeth, dressing, and
combing hair.
• He/She can choose his or her own clothes (from an appropriate range of options).
• He/She should hang up his or her clothing (the home environment should be
prepared to accommodate these activities, e.g. a low hook on which to hang one’s

Care of Indoors
• Clean sinks, bathrooms,
• Dust and polish furniture, silver
• Mop floors,
• Fold laundry, roll socks,
• Keep room picked-up (make the bed, etc),
• Help with cooking and baking: peel vegetables, slice fruits, make salad, roll
• Water, prune and dust plants,
• Empty dishwasher or rinse dishes,
• Put away dishes,
• Pass food at the table,
• Set the table,
• Fold napkins,
• Clear table,
• Be involved in preparation of breakfast and own lunch,
• Prepare and serve snacks,
• Empty wastepaper baskets,
• Help put groceries away, fold paper bags.

Care of Outdoors
• Shovel snow with a small shovel
• Sweep porch and sidewalks, pick up paper around the yard,
• Rake leaves,
• Collect fallen fruit,
• Help wash car, polish hubcaps.


Important MVA Information for our Maryland Drivers

From the NIH Parent's Listserve today... I thought it was worth posting.
Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) announced it has added an   
emergency contact option to Maryland driver's licenses. Maryland drivers 
can now add three emergency contacts to their driver's license so police 
will know who to call if an accident occurs. The emergency contact       
information is stored electronically on an individual's driver's license 
and will be available only to authorized law enforcement personnel.       
You can go to MVA's website at and add your three   
emergency contacts in just a few minutes. Go to the website, click       
"On-line Transactions, then click "More" and then click "Emergency       
Contacts" to add your emergency contacts. The entire process takes less   
than 10 minutes.       
Please pass along to your family and friends as's worth it!     
Another note: The MVA will no longer be sending out regular reminders that  your driver’s license will need to be renewed. It’s your responsibility to  keep track of when it’s due for renewal. And be careful, if you miss your  renewal date for over a year, you will have to take a driver’s test again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad Open House -- Oct 1

Looking for something to do the first weekend of October? The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad is holding an open house on October 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lots of emergency vehicles and activities for young and old. Also on that week is 'The Taste of Bethesda".

The Squad is located at 5020 Battery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-2642.

I haven't ever been to either event, but they sound like fun

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting Ready for Fall (i.e. cold season)

The sniffles have begun in our house. The dreaded colds of fall. My husband and I have started taking zinc, since so far only our 3-year-old seems to be suffering. But we've also upped his allergy medicine, in case it's hay fever. And, we've started back in on the saline aerosol nose spray. He is remarkably good at suffering this particular trial of childhood. We let him make it 'rain' first, and then after some cajoling, and Mommy taking a turn at getting saline spray, he's game.

A little less coughing last night, so hopefully this renewed regimen will help.

What are you doing to help fend off colds now that the air has turned cooler?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Do you know about PACE?

PACE stands for Parent and Community Education. It's a new moms group that I participated in when Michael was born. Many of the women I met through my group I am still friends with today.

The organization pairs up 10 or 11 new moms (who all live in the same general area) with a trained facilitator for a 6 or 8 week discussion group.

You're supposed to sign up before the baby is born--so you can be assigned a group to begin 3 weeks post-partum. Contact information is on their site:

It's about $250, but money WELL spent!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Alternative --Good for you-- Popscicle!

A few months ago, DailyCandy blogged about a new frozen fruit product, Power of Fruit bars. At the same time, ECDC was giving our kids Flav-o-Ice pops.

See below for nutritional information for POWER OF FRUIT (top) and Flav-o-ice (bottom).

Calories are about the same... even sugar content. What's different? Flav-o-ice doesn't have anything else... well, anything else good for you.

Flav-o-Ice ingredient list:

Power of Fruit? Ingredients are above... FRUIT. And nothing else. So vitamins and minerals and even a smidge of fiber.

I was so excited to try them that I called the company to find a local retailer. Not in DC yet, but the marketing manager sent me a few boxes to sample (with the hopes that I would spread the word on her product).

They are more expensive than Flav-o-ice, and I wasn't successful in getting ECDC to consider making the switch. The suggestion from management was that I made healthier Popsicles for the class myself...
I haven't done that yet.

So, how did the all-fruit version taste? Michael loved them. So did Doug and I. They come in the same sort of packaging as Flav-o-ice (the squeeze up tube). Because they are just mashed fruit their texture is a bit more variable than a traditional ice pop; and has more ice crystals as well. But they are flavorful--like eating frozen fruit.

I don't think they're being widely sold yet.  But, look for them in Whole Foods, you never know!