Hitting the beach with the kids this summer? Before you stock up on beach toys, check out these great finds to add to your pail and shovels to provide endless hours of fun in the sun. From a sand cupcake kit to a dinosaur bones digging set, these beach toys are guaranteed to get your little ones excited for summer.
Midwest born and raised, preacher’s kid, escapee of fundamentalism but lover of God and good, Kelle Hampton is today a wife, mother to three and step-mother to two. Residing in Naples, Florida with a bit of her heart still in Michigan, she is a writer, photographer, speaker and celebrant of life’s large little things. Her heartfelt blog post relating to the birth of her daughter Nella and her surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome led to the writing of Bloom, a New York Times best-selling memoir.
Kelle has contributed to Parents, Parenting, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Good Housekeeping and NPR’s All Things Considered. She shares photography and weekly journals about life and motherhood on her blog Enjoying the Small Things
It’s the “Hour of Power”—that opportunity when the kids are taken care of and you’re free to escape for some much-needed alone time. But finding a place to escape to is kind of like choosing a movie. I can have a mental list of all the movies I want to see, but when it’s actually time to sit back and order a movie, I can’t think of one. Next time you’re presented with an opportunity to escape alone for some restorative time, instead of driving around with no place to go, here are nine great ideas for “Me Time” escapes.
Changing diapers, reading stories, scheduling doctor appointments, drawing the bath water. We repeat many moments in motherhood so much that we could probably do them in our sleep. But there are some moments unlike the rest—ones that hit the “motherhood nerve,” bring us to our knees, and remind us of just how important this incredible honor is. To every mom who’s rocked a sick baby in the night, cried during the “Happy Birthday” song, or lost her breath when she thought something might be wrong, Happy Mother’s Day. You’ve earned your stripes.
With some out-of-the-box style tips, little girls’ accessories can go beyond bows and barrettes, creating a colorful wardrobe bursting with personality. Pull some items from the boys’ department, mix in some things from your own closet or pair feminine details with rock ‘n roll edge. Whatever the case, these creative yet simple tips can allow you to invent several new looks for your little one.
Feeling cooped up and need to get the kids out of the house, but exhausted all your outing ideas? The simplest places sometimes hold the greatest wonder for little ones, and a backyard might be the only thing you need for your next adventure. Here are 15 places your toddler will be thrilled to explore—and none of them require tickets or a suitcase.
If there ever was a kryptonite to the peace of motherhood, it would be Things to Do. The mind tally of so many projects and our miraculous ability to subconsciously remember them all usurps our patience, weakens our enthusiasm and distracts our ability to be present.
Let’s face it. There are some crazy adorable styles out there for little tykes, and miniature fashion has a way of wooing mama shoppers. Stretch your dollar with these complete hip baby looks for spring and summer, each offering a number of current styles while keeping your tab below $50.
It wasn’t until two years after my second baby that I found a practical quality stroller that really worked for us. I didn’t know what to look for before having kids and bought our original stroller based only on the most important criteria—price range (reasonable) and how many cool people I saw pushing it (ridiculous). A couple years later, I did a photography trade for a fancy-shmancy stroller upgrade but still didn’t find it practical for our needs. Oddly enough, the stroller on which I relied the most ended up being a pink $20 umbrella stroller we bought for travel backup—a light-weight junky little thing that fit nicely in the trunk of our car and garnered a collection of jibes from friends. Pink Panther and Crap on Wheels is, I recall, how it was referenced. When it came time for a three-week family road trip two years ago, we packed our pink Crap on Wheels between suitcases and coolers, hoping it would suffice for the trip.
At the halfway point, we landed in the heart of Chicago—also known as Land of the Cadillac Stroller. Trekking along State Street, surrounded by city fashion, I watched my husband guide our rickety stroller—its cheap stained canvas sinking from the weight of a kid plus baggage—between other moms’ Bugaboos and Orbits—strollers that rolled where you wanted them to go without straining your wrist, strollers that had baskets to hold purses and bags, strollers that reclined for sleeping children instead of containing them to neck-straining huddles, strollers that didn’t look like they had been rescued from a street alley dumpster.
March 21 is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, internationally recognized as a day to celebrate individuals with three copies of the 21st chromosome. There are more than 400,000 individuals with Down syndrome in the United States alone, and their families celebrate this day and continue to make efforts to make the world a more accepting place for individuals with special needs. Joining that celebration, here are 10 things parents have learned through raising a child with Down syndrome.
Is it “siblings who play together stay together”? Well, maybe, but close sibling relationships rely on far more than just playing together. Brothers and sisters are immeasurable gifts. So, how do we start fostering close sibling relationships from day one? Here are 18 tips to encourage your kids to stick together.