News From Music Theatre Philly

A brand new awesome facility and a new season of classes at a Philly favorite Read more

music theatre philly

Good news from one of our favorites: The fab Music Theatre Philly is moving into its own place at 12th and Spruce. (Heretofore, they’ve worked out of Plays & Players.) MTP offers musical theater performance classes for kids (wherein they perform shows like last season’s Annie or, this season, Winnie the Pooh, as well as song-and-dance showcases, like this season’s “Disney Royalty” show); dance classes (like musical theater jazz, tap, ballet/tap/jazz combo, creative dance, and more); and really special music and voice classes. Speaking of: You can still register for the next 13-week session of all those classes now, though they start soon (January 23), so you’d best do it quickly! (Meantime, one of the dance classes is a DROP-IN, meaning no registration needed, and starts as young as 6 months.)

The new space has two dance studios, a music salon, state-of-the-art sound equipment … the whole deal. And it’s also near a bunch of places to grab a coffee or a bite while you wait for your budding actor/actress to finish class.


Photo courtesy of Music Theatre Philly.

Wee Bits: A Non-Insane Detox, a Wage Gap Fight, Sinkholes and the Sad Truth About Librarians

A mix of reads and news for Philly parents this week Read more

News Bits and Pieces Philadelphia

Sigh. The Philadelphia School District, with 220 schools, has just eight full-time certified librarians, according to The story quotes Jerry Jordan, the teachers’ union president: “Prisons in Pennsylvania are required to have a library, but schools aren’t,” Jordan says. “It’s disgraceful that this has been allowed to happen to our children.” Finding a way to put a librarian — even part-time — in every school seems like a difficult but worthy endeavor for the city, no?

The Pope supports public breast-feeding, like a boss. Via NPR.

“We think of guns being an incredibly controversial topic, but what your polling shows and ours has shown is there’s a whole lot of gun policies that really aren’t controversial,” said Daniel Webster, a professor and director of the Johns Hopkins center for gun policy and research. This entire NYT story is enlightening on the topic of gun control, and how very in favor most of the public and most of the experts are for individual measures aimed at stemming America’s gun crisis. 

I think there’s something to the idea of finding a slightly more tangible way to grieve a miscarriage, as this (sad) NYT piece suggested.

Hey, this “working girl detox” from GOOP doesn’t sound crazy or painful at all. It sounds kind of yummy, actually.

Well this is an interesting development on a new city bill aimed to help shrink the wage gap. Via

Sinkhole!! One of my biggest Philly fears.

Wow, lots from this week: These restaurateurs are matching the new soda tax revenues from their restaurants and donating the cash to their local Philly school. 

This NYT story about China’s reversal of the one-child policy and the government’s free removal of the once-mandatory IUDs is sad, troubling.

Hey, all: Tomorrow, January 12, there’s a FREE pregnancy and postpartum workshop at Rebalance Physical therapy in Narberth. The workship will feature postpartum and pelvic floor therapists discussing guidelines for exercise after birth, as well as the prevention/treatment of pelvic floor issues, diastasis recti, C-section and perineal scars, back pain, and more. The workship begins at 6:30, and it is FREE. To register, email or call 267-282-1301.

One more helpful announcement for new moms: A new round of the postpartum and new-parent support group at Center City peds starts today! No need to register; details here!

Wee One-On-One: Anna Fry Bechtel

In which one Philly supermom shares her favorite stuff (and dishes on some allergy-friendly favorites!) Read more

anna fry bechtel

The mom: Brewerytown’s Anna Fry Bechtel, mom to Josie, 4, and Henry, 2, is a Washington, D.C. native who moved to Philly in 2002 to attend Penn for her nursing degree, moved away a couple times, then found herself back here for good (she hopes!). In October, Anna launched Allergy Friendly Philly, a website that is a local guide for families dealing with food allergies. The site is still in its early development stage, she says, as she’s working on gathering information about locations to review and considering the needs of the food allergy community in Philly. But the idea is simple. “Allergy Friendly Philadelphia is a guide to food, life, and fun in Philadelphia for people with food allergies and their families,” Anna says. “Both my children and my husband have severe food allergies, and no one was taking a local approach or looking at venues other than restaurants. Most food allergy guides are also user-sourced, which means that there is no consistent metric for evaluating a location.” And since, as Anna says, food allergies are an issue anywhere there’s food — museums, festivals, play spaces, pop-ups and so forth — “it is especially an issue for parents of children with food allergies, many whom are new to navigating the world of allergies, and whose kids are putting their hands in everything and then into their mouths.” Her goal, she says, is to “relieve some of the burden, connect people with similar experiences, and raise awareness. The idea is to facilitate a dialogue between businesses that can cater to the Food Allergy Community, as well as those who serve children and could make their experience safer for kids with food allergies. There is a community aspect to the site as well, where people who are either living with food allergies themselves or have children with food allergies can meet and talk to each other.” Read more →

Spotlight: TiffinTalk Cards, An Awesome (Screen-Free!) Activity

A fun, simple tool that encourages communication, creativity and quality time Read more


I tend not to believe in New Year’s resolutions (why wait until one arbitrary day to improve something that needs improving?), but have broken my own rule this year and decided that 2017 would be the year I use my phone as little as possible, especially if we’re talking about using it in front of my kid, and double especially if we’re talking about using it instead of engaging with my kid. (What can I say? It happens.)

In that vein, I was intrigued to learn about a company called TiffinTalk, created by Media native Kat Rowan, who is a mom, former educator, administrator and editor with a background in mathematics and psychology. TiffinTalk’s motto? “Tech Off. Talk On.” I liked it, and liked still more the wider concept Rowan has created here. TiffinTalk is a series of cards designed to spur conversation with your child; each card has a question in it (the questions stay within a theme for the week). So, for instance, in a preschool set of cards (there are 260 cards in total), the first card asks: “Why do kids go to school?” The second card asks “What happens at school?”. The third: “Are all schools the same?” The fourth: “Who works at a school?” And so forth. (The next week’s topic is “You!”) Each card has a little game on the back, for a little extra fun. Read more →

The Bottle Bundle, a Brilliant Option for New Moms

An excellent idea, and an excellent gift. PLUS: A DEAL! Read more

baby's choice bottle bundle

Much of parenting, as we all know, is about learning things the hard (very hard) way. And that — well, avoiding that — is the driving force behind the Bottle Bundle, a product created by South Philly moms (and sisters-in-law!) Hallie and Abby Fenton. Their Bottle Bundle allows new parents to try out four different types of bottle before they spend a boatload on bottles that the baby might not take.

The backstory here is that both moms, who had babies just eight months apart, struggled when their little ones rejected their bottles. “We’d done all the research,” says Abby. “We thought we knew what would be best, and then both of us had the experience where our daughters rejected the bottles we’d bought for them,” Abby says. “I spent so long trying to get my daughter to take a bottle she hated.” By chance, she says, she tried another brand one day, “and it was magic. She took four ounces of breast milk. I was like, ‘I can’t believe I stressed out for so long about this.'” A lot of other women the duo spoke to had noted similar experiences, Abby says. “Sometimes you have to try two, three, four different kinds before you find the right one. I have all these extra bottles now in the basement. It’s a very wasteful thing, and we thought there was a better way to get at this.” Read more →

Wee Bits: Toxic Lipstick, the End of Little Pete’s, and the Mystery of Septa Key

The week’s news and reads for Philly parents Read more

wee bits

Sad: Au revoir, Little Pete’s. Via Philly Mag.

So much love for this collection of the White House photographer’s favorite photos of the year. 

What a cool idea: Newsworks reports on a couple of Penn researchers who dreamed up a way to help needy people you encounter in the city get what they actually want — winter coats, fresh socks, toiletries, and so forth. A nice story.

I can’t stop thinking about what a total badass this mom is, trekking through 30 miles of snow “subsisting on twigs and her urine” to save her family.

Just a small reminder that the wonderful PlayArts in Fishtown has some awesome classes and play times happening, including a new postpartum/new parent support group, complete with a doula to lead the sessions. Details here!

OMG, Septa Key. Get it together, already. 

This NPR story on the scarcity of childcare (and the problems that scarcity can bring) reminds us how very, very far away we are from having a real working system in place for all parents.

CBS reports that one city councilperson is finally working to address how dangerous all of the closed sidewalks and crosswalks are to pedestrians in this city.

Wow to this NYMag story — A Year Ago I Had A Baby. So Did My Wife.

Here’s Billy Penn’s list of what is and is not taxed under the new sugar tax.

Tis the season, as the NYT points out, for the kid cough that doesn’t go away. 

Via CNN: The FDA decides it might be time to start suggesting that cosmetic companies limit amount of lead they put in your lipstick. But don’t worry, it’s not a rule or anything… just a suggestion.