Wee Guide: The Annotated Baby Registry List

Wee’s totally subjective, overly opinionated guide to all the baby crap you need (and don’t need) Read more

baby registry guide

One of the most useful things I ever did as a pregnant person was to sit down with a mama friend (Ashley!) who walked me though one of those huge registry checklists from the big-box baby store. Those lists are completely overwhelming, mostly because they cover everything anyone would ever possibly need. (And also because they’re trying to sell you stuff.) I needed help navigating not just because I was clueless, but because like a lot of Philly families, we didn’t have unlimited space for storing stuff that a) we wouldn’t really use or b) wouldn’t need for another two years. The goal was to find out — like, for real — what we really needed, what we maybe needed, what we didn’t need at all, and what we would definitely want to return if we received as a gift.

Anyway. It was so helpful to get a (somewhat) educated, b.s.-free advice session that we decided to offer up our totally unsolicited, overly opinionated take on one of those giant overwhelming baby registry lists. Here, the stuff we hate, the stuff we think you can just borrow, and the stuff you need to own because it will save your sanity. Read more →

Wee Bits: The Rising Costs of Motherhood, A New Legoland, Dutch Sex Ed, and New Fall Classes Everywhere

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

wee bits spring

Really liked this (helpful!) list from Philly Mag of some of the city’s greatest architectural salvage stores.

Here’s a fascinating if depressing look at a new study about about why the work-family juggle seems to be getting harder, and costs of motherhood, increasing. Via the NYT.

Evidently, New York is getting a massive Legoland. (Roadtrip? Maybe?) Via Parents.com.

Also from Parents.com: If you bought Babyganics products, you could be eligible for a settlement, thanks to a lawsuit against the company alleging that the products aren’t quite as organic as consumers have maybe been led to believe.

Funny Inky story about a student-authored handbook for teachers that works like a dictionary for popular Philly-kid lingo. (E.g. “Jawn”; “Ocky”.)

A reminder for Star Wars fans: This weekend is the Please Touch Museum’s Space Odyssey weekend — with a Star Wars brass band called Wookiedelphia, a meet-and-greet with Franklin Institute’s Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts, a Jedi training academy, story time, various characters .. and more.

And another weekend event (although this one in September): It’s a Thomas the Tank Engine cameo at the awesome Morris Arboretum Garden Railway on September 8 and 9!

Interesting, from The Cut: What Sex Ed Is Like In the Netherlands. 

A note to y’all, our readers: Guys, we get more emails from some of our favorite spots for classes than we can possibly list here. Suffice it to say: ALMOST EVERYWHERE, IT’S FALL REGISTRATION TIME. Be sure to check all your favorites spots NOW … classes fill up fast. (Seriously — class schedules are up everywhere! Phield House! InMovement! Mister John’s! Philly Art Center! PlayArts! Music Theater Philly! And more!)

Always in favor of anything suggesting chores for kids — and this NYT piece is a good one!

And finally: Diggerland has a few things coming up y’all might be interested in — firstly, a promo code for Labor Day weekend; secondly, a FREE touch-a-truck event outside the gates on September 8 from 9 a.m. to noon; finally, the October launch of Diggerfest, which combines the usual truck-and-ride fun with a fall festival.

Wee Idea: Pimp My (Kid’s) Ride

A surprising hit: homemade bike- and scooter tassels Read more

tassels for bikes and scooters

I will begin this by saying that I am nobody’s Pinterest inspiration — crafty isn’t really my thing. But recently, I went on Amazon in search of a couple dozen cheap-o bike tassels — you know, the kind that were de rigueur on handlebars when we were kids. (Backstory: We had a sort of “birthday ride” in honor of my son’s birthday with the kids on the street, and since this activity is pretty much something that happens every week, I thought I could make it feel a bit more special and festive if the kids decorated their scooters and bikes. Said children are all still under the age of 6, so I thought there might be a chance they would like this idea and not just roll their eyes.)

Anyway: I was shocked (SHOCKED!) to find out that I’d have to spend about $4 a pair for everyone to get tassels, which just felt excessive. (And they weren’t even that cute.) Pinterest, too, let me down: Every “homemade bike tassel” I looked for involved either sewing (no) or hot glue and golf tees to spear the tassels through the hole in the handlebars, which, again, felt a bit extra. So I improvised. I bought small elastic hair bands from CVS (about $1.50) and a whole bunch of multi-colored Grosgrain ribbons from Amazon ($6). I trimmed the ribbon, grouped them up in colorful trios and tied the three ribbons en masse in knots around the hairband. And voila:

Official scooter tassels!

More tassels!

 

To my great surprise and delight, the kids were all really into them — they tasseled up their bikes (and some even indulged in the crepe paper I bought for extra decoration). The bikes/scooters looked so cute … and it occurred to me that this is an easy craft project to do on a slow weekend afternoon, as well as a super-inexpensive, fun party activity/favor. Cheapo homemade bike tassels! Who knew!?

Wee Bits: The Best Kids’ Sneakers, Re-Branding Motherhood, Baby Rothy’s, Boob Rage and Making Children Participate in Family Chores

News, happenings, reads and other tidbits for parents this week Read more

wee bits, new and news, wee wander

I cannot overstate how much I like and agree with this op-ed from NYT about “re-branding motherhood.” I say a lot– and have written here — how much I wish we could emphasize the fun of it (hard to express as it is) over the sacrifices (which, yes, are considerable, but also, maybe not always as bad as everyone makes them out to be?). Anyway. I liked the piece.

Hey, guys, Rothy’s (aka, my obsession) is making little shoes for little feet now and they look realllllllly cute. Sizes 10 to 4.

Have to say, I liked this write-up from Jezebel: Don’t Tell Me Where I Can Pull Out My Tiddy.

Um, don’t swim in Devil’s Pool this summer. Via Plan Philly.

But DO be on the lookout for Idris Elba in North Philly, squeeeeee. Eventually. (Via Philly Mag.)

Here’s a pretty brilliant post from Dorothy at Tankini Files about forcing your kids to help you clean up every night before bed. And why shouldn’t they?

You’ll certainly notice all the editorials — more than 200 in newspapers across the country — decrying the attack on America’s free press lately. Pretty powerful stuff, this one from the NYT, and this one from the Inky. 

I mean, was there anyone who didn’t weep over the mama whale carrying her dead baby whale around the ocean for 1,000 miles? I could cry again now just reading this Cut piece.

Meantime, the Strategist gives us the best sneakers for kids, a topic in which I think we’re all highly invested.

Hey, all — Zoom Dance still has a few spots left for the remaining weeks of summer camp and ALSO is registering people for the new fall sessions. Check it out!

Another thing to know about: Labor Day weekend (that’s Sat, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 3), kids 12 and under get into the Museum of the American Revolution for FREE. (They’ll also get a fun back-to-school goody pack, AND on Sunday from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., Lauren Tarshis, author of the New York Times best-selling children’s fiction series I Survived, will make a special appearance to talk about her book I Survived the American Revolution, 1776 and what life was like for real children on and off the battlefield during the Revolutionary War.

Also happening Labor Day weekend? Philly is the official Labor Day port of the largest operating Norwegian Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre (Draken) — and you can catch it at the Independence Seaport Museum from Friday, August 31 to Thursday, September 6. (Check out the website, above — it looks rad!)

And this weekend — you can hit a FREE Y2BFit class at Center City’s Athleta! Sunday, August 19 — 9:45 a.m. 

 

So Many Awesome Fall Dance Classes For Littles

Hip-Hop! Ballet! Gymnastics! Read more

rock school dance classes

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So as y’all may remember, we’ve written before about the wonderful array of dance classes The Rock School offers for little ones. And now, with a new school year starting and a fresh round of fall classes open for registration, it felt like a good time to remind everyone that even the very tiniest dancers have a place at the Rock School’s wildly popular Pre-K Dance Class: Kids as young as two can learn the fundamentals of movement in a cheerful, fun, nurturing session. There’s also Pre-K Hip-Hop and Pre-K Gymnastics and Dance, which are both NEW and aimed at 3- and 4-year-olds, as well as the tried-and-true Early Ballet, Children’s Ballet and Kids’ Hip-Hop (aimed at slightly older kiddos). And here’s a huge bonus: They also offer NEW adult classes (Pilates/Barre, Absolute Beginner Ballet Foundations, and Stretch and Tone Ballet), which are held at the same time as the Pre-K dance classes on Saturday mornings, so that the whole family can get in on the fun. (Brilliant, no?)

And for the uninitiated: The Rock School is great not just because the variety of classes offered and the professional, encouraging dance instructors, but also because the studio is gorgeous — all sunlit and open — and there’s tons of parking in the private, off-street lot. (Stroller parking, too!) There’s also a convenient on-site cafe, complete with free WiFi, a kids’ play area and snacks. Interested? Visit the site to learn more and/or register for fall classes!!

Big News at Mister John’s Music

Thanks to some renovations, our favorite music teacher in Philly has more room for his awesome after-school classes Read more

mister johns music philadelphia

If you’ve spent anytime with Mister John, then you know: This is the kind of guy that’s gonna have a major impact on your kids. (He’s actually had an impact on my whole family.) So we’ve got some good news for those hanging out on the wait list for one of his classes or trying to figure out your after-school sitch this fall — Mister John’s Music recently underwent a renovations and now he has more room for more classes.

The lower level of his adorable Bella Vista shop now has a piano lab, sound-proofing and lots of space for more of his awesome guitar, piano, ukulele, fiddle, percussion and choir lessons for kids and adults. (One highlight to look forward to? The spring concerts, in which the chorus students perform with the music students, kids and adults—this year’s theme will probably be ’80s music. Toto’s Africa, perhaps? There will also be some neighborhood festival performances, too. Outdoor risers are being constructed as I write!)

And really, even if you do none of this, you should check out his videos on Instagram, just because they’ll make you smile.