Wee Bits: Love Hacks, Halloween Hoopla, Dressing for Family Photos and Einstein’s Secret of Happiness

Reads, news, happenings and other tidbits for Philly parents Read more

Stressed about what to make everyone wear for your fall portrait session? The Mom Edit has some really cool ideas.

Loved this NYT piece about “love hacks” for busy married people. 

I mean, aren’t we all just mad as hell (about everything!?) these days? I’ve been TRYING to channel that anger (at least some of it) into raising a decent human being — the world seems to need as many as possible of those, more than ever. Anyway. This list from the Strategist — 16 Feminist Kids’ Books — seems like a helpful tool for the arsenal.

And speaking of raising good people: 6 Ways We Accidentally Teach Our Boys Rape Culture, via The Good Men Project. Good reminders here.

And speaking of being mad: Christ on a bike! This mold in schools story from Philly.com.

Hey all — there’s an open house at the new preschool (and pre-K), Aspen Grove, in South Philly.

More news! There’s a new (locally owned) Egg & Friends Children’s Boutique that just opened in Bryn Mawr, and the (locally designed) clothes are cuuuuuuuute. 925 W. Lancaster Avenue.

Einstein’s secret to happiness, courtesy of NPR.

I actually think I might want a Target-themed birthday party, too. (Via Select All.)

Well, this is nice. Parents.com reports on a hospital with a NICU that lets moms and dads sleep in the same room as the babies.

Thanks, ScaryMommy, for this list of 5 body rules all kids need to know. 

Halloween happenings galore! First, you should know about the annual South Street Headhouse District’s Pumpkinfest on October 28. There’ll be pumpkin putt-putt, pumpkin pie-eating and jack o’lantern contests, costume contests, trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, hay-bale mazes, and a bunch of other good stuff. (Also — a winter coat charity drive!) The night before, on the 27th, there are movies, including It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Another good one: Smith Memorial Playground celebrates Halloween with live music, a “Thriller” dance party, arts and crafts, healthy snacks, the usual Smith playground fun … and more. (Costumes welcomed.) $10 per kid. (Free for members and ACCESS cardholders.) Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Another (and how fun is this!?): This weekend, kids are encouraged to dress as their favorite Revolutionary and head to the new Museum of the American Revolution (“open to a wide range of interpretation”, they say), and get $2 off admission. (And there’s fun Halloween goings on, too — candy and costume parades and education about ye old Halloween traditions.)

Fairmount’s annual party — hosted by the Fairmount Art Center — happens on Sunday the 29th, and includes a costume parade, art projects, music and more. 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Finally .. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is the Rittenhouse Row Halloween celebration, wherein a bunch of the stores welcome trick-or-treaters. (Again: Dress those kids up!) The cat sign on display indicates which businesses are participating.



Surviving Cold, Allergy and Hell-Virus Season

Because kids are germ factories: Here’s stuff that will help you get through the misery Read more

cold season with kids

I do some version of this post every year — generally when I am struck down by some miserable cold/sinus infection/bronchitis hell virus — and this year is no exception. (Currently, it’s just a nasty cold going through our household.) But every year, thanks to experience, and friends’ suggestions, pediatrician recommendations, and y’all’s input here on Wee, I find new stuff that makes weathering these illness-laden months a little easier. So here, the annual cold/allergy/flu season survival list.*
*no medicine included here, of course. We’re no doctors : ).

1. The Nose Frida (obviously) and unscented, gentle Boogie Wipes.
I’ve said before that I always thought Boogie Wipes were high-rankers on the list of unnecessary items in the baby aisle. But I was wrong: They’re great on (gross) hardened boogies and grime that attaches itself to little faces, and gentle on over-wiped, chapped noses. I’m a total convert. And speaking of noses …  Read more →

Gear Up: Postpartum Fashion

The best bras, tanks, leggings and tops Read more

postpartum fashion

You know, for all of the attention given to maternity clothes and the relative ease with which a pregnant lady can look cute, it’s actually surprisingly hard to navigate the world of postpartum fashion. This is my current reality: With the exception of a few pairs of maternity jeans, most maternity clothes don’t look or fit quite right, and with the exception of a few button-downs and leggings, most regular clothes either don’t fit right yet or are incredibly difficult to nurse in. So in my experience, the items that new moms love, we REALLY love, and wear constantly. Here, some of the winners.

Nursing Bras
The Bravado Nursing Bra is a classic, and a super-popular choice… and that’s for a reason. Silky smooth, soft, easy to open and re-fasten with one hand, with removable liners for more coverage. (For what it’s worth, the Bravado underwire versions get good reviews on Amazon, too.) I also really like the Ingrid and Isabel for Gap seamless drop-cup nursing bra, which I find offers a smidge more support than most others I’ve tried. (Well, most without underwire, that is.) It’s not quite as easy to pull down and up with one hand — I find that the foam inserts occasionally get a big bunched up in the process, requiring a second hand to fix it — but it’s my favorite in terms of support and (let’s be honest) how I look in tighter shirts.  

One friend who doesn’t need the same amount of support (pre-pregnancy, she was fond of bandeau-style bras — lucky woman who can pull it off) adores the Pea in the Pod nursing wrap sleep bra as her regular, go-to day bra. “So soft, and easy to just move over and nurse.”

Nursing Tanks
I love nursing tanks in general because I don’t like to flash skin if I need to lift my shirt. Still, I find that the difference in comfort and aesthetics between my inexpensive simple cotton ones and the pricier compression models are like night and day — this is an area where I’ve decided a little extra cash is worth it, especially because I have worn these things several times a week for months and months and months. And while the reviews for the Belly Bandit Nursing tank on Amazon are spotty, I have really, really liked this compression tank. The body support is just right — not too tight, but firm enough to make you feel just a bit sucked in. And while the chest support could be better (one of the common complaints on Amazon), I find it to be good enough in most instances (and I am not someone who doesn’t need support — no tissue-paper-thin bralettes in this house). I love how the material is super sleek and un-bulky — it doesn’t catch on other fabrics, so it makes for a very smooth look under clothes. The cups pull right to the side, so you don’t have to mess with clips at all, which I consider another bonus.

Another nursing tank I love — so much so that I’ve written about it before — is the Yummie tank, which is a gentle compression tank with a nice long fit, and reasonable support. It stays put under your clothes better than any model I’ve ever had, and mine has held up for two kids now (and I wore if for at least a year after the first kid), so that takes a little sting out of the $70 price tag.

It’s obviously no secret that these are the easiest pants to wear when you’re pre-pregnancy jeans still feel a tad snug (or when they’re no-shot-in-hell tight, whichever) and you don’t feel like putting on maternity clothes you’ve been wearing for an eon. And while any good stretchy pair will do just fine — Atheleta, Lululemon, Gap, Target, J Simp, Old Navy (which, by the by, has some really cute patterns right now) — I’ve grown super fond of this Blanqi high-waisted version, which offers a nice bit of compression (not quite shapewear level, but a nice tucked-in feeling) and modesty in nursing situations, since the pants literally go to your bra line. (And they don’t slide down, which is a basically a miracle.)

Tops and Dresses
Tops are a little silly to write too much about, because everybody knows what they like and feel comfortable in. (Buttondowns? Cross-front and tie-front cardigans? Deep Vs that pull to the side?) You actually can find all those types of tops pretty easily (and I like all of the above, so long as it doesn’t scream “nursing shirt”), but there a few standouts that seem worth noting: The nursing tunic from My Bella Mama (says a friend: “I wear them around the house constantly!”); the Old Navy side-slit t-shirts and sweaters (I just find them to be incredibly easy and cute with a nursing tank underneath); and a good versatile, tie-front cardigan, which I’ve also taken to just wearing over a nursing tank. (I like the ones that are long enough to cover a tushie in leggings — and you can find cardigans like this just about anywhere.) Finally, I wore this black dress when it was 90 degrees out, and an now wearing it with a little cardigan or denim jacket — that’s how flattering and easy it is.   

Photos, clockwise from left, courtesy of OldNavy.com, Blanqi.com, and Belly Bandit. 

Outings: Celebrating Veterans Day With Kids

A fun (and meaningful) day at the Independence Seaport Museum Read more

independence seaport museum

Don’t know about you guys, but to me, this particular moment of time in our world feels like an apt moment to consider and appreciate our freedoms — and to consider the people who have worked and are working to secure them. On this Veterans Day — November 11 — the Independence Seaport Museum is offering an excellent way to teach our kids about veterans and the reasons we celebrate them. In addition to hosting their annual Veterans Day Ceremony, the museum is also offering several family-friendly activities: Kids can make pinwheel poppies, write cards to veterans (which will later be distributed at the ceremony), and play board games that require military-like strategy.

The ceremony itself (geared toward adults, but certainly fine for families) will be held on Cruiser Olympia, the oldest steel warship afloat in the world. (The cruiser is best known for bringing home the body of the Unknown Soldier in 1921.) It begins at 2 p.m., and honors both our active military and veterans. The activities geared toward the kids will take place inside the museum starting at 10 a.m. If you know the Seaport Museum at all, then you know they do an awesome job with engaging little ones: In addition to the activities, you have the added bonus of being on the water, watching boats sail by — high-level entertainment for the toddler set.

Here, the details:
When: Saturday, November 11. The ceremony starts at 2 p.m., the more kid-friendly events start inside the museum at 10 a.m.
Where: The Independence Seaport Museum at 211 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost: The ceremony itself is free to attend — though the space is limited. You’ll want to register here to guarantee a spot if you want to go. Meantime, for the kids’ stuff, it’s just a regular admission fee of $12 per kid, and $16 per adult. (Free for kids 2 and under.) Admission into the museum is free for military veterans and those on active duty, as well as museum members. Families of military members get a discounted rate.

Interested? Read more about the event here.


Wee Obsession: Rothy’s

Your new favorite city walking shoes Read more

rothy's shoes

Okay, so yes: I first saw these shoes, Rothy’s, probably the same place you did — advertised on my Facebook feed. (Sidebar: You know you’re old when a) Your web history leads direct marketers to believe that you are someone who might get excited about sensible shoes, and b) you really are someone who gets excited about sensible shoes.) I think I clicked on that advertisement about 50 times to ogle the cuteness.

But what really sold me on them — besides the cuteness, I mean — was the fact that my obstetrician was wearing them one day when I went for an appointment. This is a woman who spends countless hours on her feet, who gets — in her words — a whole bunch of icky stuff on her shoes on a regular basis. (Ha! Ew! Ha!) We talked at length about how they’re washable, and how they’re made from recycled water bottles, and how they’re ridiculously comfy, and SO CUTE.

Anyway. I caved. (Well, my husband caved. They were a birthday present.) You will note that they are not cheap. Okay, fine, I’ll just say it. They’re $145 for the pointed-toe flats, $125 for the rounded toe ballet flats. I know!! It’s a lot. Truly, I have never spent that much on a pair of flats in my life. BUT: They are designed to last forever, I’m told. And they are like wearing slippers. I can walk the mile or so back and forth to preschool in them, without foot sweat, without blisters, without feeling like I’m really even wearing shoes. The pointed toe (and my red camo print) felt slightly chicer, so I went with that — but I think the rounded toes are adorable, too. I love them deeply. I feel like a French girl in them. A sensible one. But still.*





Wee Bits: Vetri in the Schools, Sucky Whole Foods News, the French Version of #MeToo, and a City Pumpkin Patch

News, happenings, reads and other tidbits for your mid-week catch-up Read more

wee bits

I say this to myself all the time (and usually fail at it): You Can’t Enforce Screen-Time Limits If You’re Always On Your Phone. Sigh. It’s hard. (Via the Cut.)

How cute is this? Sunday Fit4Mom Family classes! 

This is really cool:  Marc Vetri’s and Jeff Banjamin’s Vetri Community Partnership just got a massive grant from GlaxoSmithKline to launch the Vetri Cooking Lab, an after-school program that engages students in hands-on cooking and nutrition activities. There will be 1,200 kids in Philly and Camden who get to be a part of the program over the next two years.

Speaking of good food: Thank you, Sidecar Bar & Grille, for giving families earlier brunch hours AND a special smart little kids menu AND inexpensive Rival Bros. Coffee. You complete us. (Via Foobooz.)

Lastly, on the food front — some sucky news for fans of the new Whole Foods (or anyone who lives in the vicinity): Wiz Kid and Cheu Noodle Bar are both pulling out of the grocery store. Sad trombone. (Also via Foobooz.)

It’s Harry Potter Festival time, y’all! (And I, for one, feel like a little magic is what we all need right now. Bring on the Sorting Hat.)  Read more →