Looking to help your little artist tap into his creative spirit? There are SO many excellent places for toddlers, preschoolers and pre-K kids to take an art class in this city — and we’re not just talking about doing craft projects. You can find anything from illustration to sewing to ceramics and more around here, if you know where to look. Here’s a good place to start — our round-up of places in (and near) the city for artsy extracurriculars. (PS. Got bigger kids? Most of these spots have classes for older kids, too.) (PPS. Almost all of these places also do camps and parties … not to mention other types of classes beyond visual arts.) Read more →
I don’t know about you guys, but I read a lot — a lot!!! — of parenting stuff. (And hey — you’re reading this, so … hi!) This is in part because I’m a mom (duh) and thus I’m interested, and in part because my phone knows everything about me, down to the brand of diapers I buy, and it throws story after story about children and motherhood in front of my face every day. And I am a reader, so I read.
But I’ll be honest: The more I’ve read, the more selective I’ve had to get. For as many wonderful, thought-provoking, helpful and inspiring pieces there are out there about moms and raising kids, there are also vast swaths of parenting stories make me mental. What sorts of stories, you ask? Well, here’s a sampling of genres I simply cannot click on anymore, in the interest of preserving my own sanity:
Story genre 1: Please read about this very tragic — and also extremely rare and random — accident that happened to a child, then weep, and then just let the already full Rolodex of worries in your head grow to include every seemingly harmless toy/piece of furniture in your home PLUS every seemingly normal activity involved in childhood. Everything is dangerous!
Story genre 2: The airline outrage of the day.
It’s getting to be like Mad Libs now, isn’t it? I don’t read these anymore because I don’t need to: the narrative is always the same. Some airline hostess/employee/passenger shames/yells at/kicks off a mom/child/family for breastfeeding/crying/carrying milk/bringing stroller and someone films it/writes a post/calls the news, and it goes viral, and then everybody rage posts for a week. Wash, rinse, repeat. (Sidebar: Get it together, airlines!)
Story genre 3: Celebrity mom is so cool and smart and awesome at parenting that she is #parentinggoals. (Yes, I’ve written about this particular pet peeve before!)
[Two exceptions to this: I will always read about the royals, because I would actually like parenting tips/secrets from them (those kids! So well-behaved!), and also, I will always read anything written by Chrissy Teigen, because she is funny.]
Story genre 4: Celebrity mom looking great in bikini three weeks after giving birth!
Story genre 5: Any horrific true-crime story involving children where the headline functions as click-bait.
People.com is especially fond of throwing up a headline about some depraved act of violence against a child right there between lighthearted stories about JLo and some woman from The Bachelor, and I find that treatment incredibly exploitative and gross. No, no, nope.
Story genre 6: Kardashian baby fashion.
Story genre 7: Dry drowning.
Weird that I’ve read more viral stories about “dry” drowning now than actual drowning. (This isn’t to say that I don’t still worry about it: I do! See #1’s Rolodex of worries.)
Story genre 8: Some moms are shaming other moms about something. (And usually someone “claps back.”)
Yawn. It’s like Mean Girls, but boring. And yet these stories are incredibly pervasive, and usually contain A TON MORE MOM-SHAMING in the comments.
Story genre 9: “Innovative” gender-reveal parties.
Pink, blue or meh.
Story genre 10: Comments.
The comments on roughly 85 percent of parenting stories are like all of these story genres rolled into one, but with more spelling errors.
As y’all might remember, we’ve written before about Elanna Sesink-Clee of Elanna D Photography — she’s known for her beautiful work with newborns, expecting mamas, life milestones (like birthdays!), and young families. She’s also a professional nanny with a gift for working with little ones, which translates to sweet smiles and natural-looking photos.
The latest good news here is that Elanna is moving her University City studio to Roxborough, and the new space is perfect for newborn shoots. She’s a practiced pro at shooting teeny babes, and she makes it as easy and comfortable for the baby (and for the parents) as possible — the new studio is warm and cozy and all set up and ready to go upon your arrival. And as always, Elanna also offers on-location shoots for families and little ones, too — you can see from her photos (above, below and on Instagram) her range.
The Elanna D Photography sessions come in several different package options, which you can see here. (They all include downloadable digital images with printing rights, which is a nice perk.) You can check out more details about the packages (and Elanna!) here, or head over to her Insta account or blog.
The new zipline in Fairmount Park is OPEN wheee! (And it sounds awesome, and there’s a course just for littles. All via BeWellPhilly.)
You probably read a looooot of Mother’s Day stories this last week, about being a mom (or not), having a mom (or not), wanting to be a mom (or not). One of the pieces that stood out to me was this one, about being a “near-mom”, from the Times.
Speaking of the great outdoors, Philly’s long-awaited rail park opens in June. (Well, part of the long-awaited rail park.) Via WHYY.
Tickets for the famed Upper Darby Summer Stage shows go on sale on May 21, y’all. What a fun way to introduce your little ones to theater.
This report from NPR and ProPublica about how many moms die in childbirth — and how many moms almost die — is shocking, particularly when you read the individual stories of the women who are featured. I feel like we should all be talking about this much more than we are. (Related: America’s black moms are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, via the NYT.) All sorts of insanity here.
Truth. (Via the Cut.)
Please, PLEASE ban smoking on public beaches, New Jersey! (From WHYY.)
The Strategist gives us the best shoes for traveling. Helpful!
Another Cut piece — a wonderful, really smartly written piece on pelvic floor pain and why often women are just expected to (or expect to) live with it after childbirth.
And sorry, Cut overload here, but I love Sharon Horgan’s Catastrophe SO MUCH and this interview about her new show Motherland is fascinating. Sounds like a good one.
Heads up: You can register now for a very cool-sounding STEM enrichment program at offered by the Franklin Institute and Glaxo Smith Kline and held at a handful of local libraries. The FREE classes, aimed at second- through sixth graders, will focus this year on the Science of Space via “fun hands-on activities that teach the basic concepts behind spectroscopy, micrometeroids, rocketry and more.” Sounds cool, no? Pre-registration required!
OMG, it’s the new black-and-blue/gold-and-white dress: Yanny or Laurel? (From Vox.)
Has your family ever realized that you’re raising a bear you (wrongly) believed to be a dog? No? Well then you’re doing better than some folks. (People.com.)
Here’s a really fun one for the calendar: On June 9, from noon to 5 p.m. along the South Concourse Drive of West Fairmount Park, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Mural Arts Philadelphia and West Park Cultural Center are hosting the 11th annual FREE West Park Arts Festival, complete with dancers, musicians, singers (West Philadelphia Orchestra, for one; Patrice and The Show for another — plus way more), plus guided historical trolley tours, art-making, food and craft vendors and a showcase of the Franklin Institute’s new exhibition “Game Masters.”
And now, please indulge us in a moment of bragging: We were very honored to be included in Feedspot’s top 25 Philadelphia blogs. Yay us (and y’all, for reading!).
So in order to try to mitigate a tiny, tiny bit of the intense anxiety triggered by stories of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or of straws and coffee-stirrer pollution, or of the terrifying amount of non-recyclable trash in the world (couldn’t even read this one because of all the doom), my husband and I both like to try new ways to avoid plastics and disposable things. (Exception: diapers. I use disposable, and for that I am sorry. #GUILT. Thus I have that much more to make up for on the non-disposable front … or at least that’s how I feel.) Read more →
Bar Method owners Gina Russo and Kristin Cataline know the struggle is real: One of the reasons they opened their Rittenhouse studio earlier this year is because they know how hard it is to find a workout that’s fun and effective—especially for moms like themselves.
And so, in order to make workout for moms as easy as possible, they added a tricked-out playroom and offer babysitting. Best part? It’s free.
Book your class through their website or app, and you can reserve the babysitting then, too. It’s currently offered during the Saturday 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. classes, and for the Sunday 9:30 a.m. class.
PS: They are offering Wee Wander readers a special deal. Get your first class for only $10 with the code WeeWander. (That’s us!) Valid until 6/30/18.
Photo credit: The Bar Method