This is my first year as a mother when I’ve actually felt on top of Halloween. And that’s 100% because I decided to not go all DIY.
I’m so glad I’m half-assing Halloween.
When Peeper said she wanted to wear a Cinderella costume, my inner feminist cringed—but then I hopped on Amazon and ordered her a damn Disney dress.
Kiwi is still too little to have much of a preference or even know there’s a holiday coming up. So I figured that hey, she has fleece giraffe-print pajamas, so why doesn’t she dress as a giraffe? #twoforonepajamas
Now I have to get out and show off these top-tier costumes. And if you’re like us, you won’t be spending all of Halloween at home, either, waiting to give out tiny chocolates to almost equally tiny Elsas and Pikachus. We’ll be taking the girls out to get their own candy (which we’ll quickly appropriate, obvi). So I wanted to set out a trick or treat sign welcoming the neighborhood kids to help themselves to the treats I’ll leave on the front porch.
And hey, so can you, because you can download this Halloween trick or treat sign for free!
Download your free Trick or Treat Sign!
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(Sorry, the free printable does not come with free candy.)
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A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes a wordless picture book is worth a big ol’ internet shout-out. These, our 10 favorite children’s books with no words, are just those.
Wordless picture books can be intimidating to adults: You have to wing it, since there is no text to read. But making up a story as you go along—and letting your child have a go at storytelling, too—is fun and fosters pre-literacy skills in little readers.
Children’s books with no words encourage imagination and curiosity in kids; they lead little ones to begin to tell stories; they prompt kids to look for plot clues in illustrations; and they promote close listening, as the story may change each time you read the book.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out these children’s books with no words the next time you’re at the library and see for yourself. Read more
Oh, the screaming.
I shudder to imagine what the neighbors thought was going on at our house. But it was just bath time.
Over the last six months or so, when it came time to wash my kid’s hair, Peeper would disappear and a panicked, sobbing, shrieking beast took her place.
It was torture, apparently, for her, and it was no fun for us parents, either.
But what I ended up learning helped make all the screaming, the crying and the frustration a little more worth the struggle.
When I was little, I walked with my dad across the University of Oregon campus just before school started. I held his hand as we meandered under the centuries-old trees and kicked the crackling fallen leaves. I often stooped to pick up acorns and chestnuts.
I’d find them in my pocket all fall and winter long—little treasures squirreled away.
Even now I can’t resist picking them up. I run my thumb over the smooth shell like a worry stone and remember those crisp autumn walks with my dad.
The other day, on one of those cold but bright fall mornings, my girls and I took a walk. It was just chilly enough for me to be grateful for the
furnace baby strapped to my chest, and Peeper stopped every few steps to investigate something or other while Finn waited impatiently.
We approached a chestnut tree and the mess of nuts, shells and leaves surrounding it. Squirrels scolded us overhead while Peeper picked up a handful of chestnuts and talked about how pokey the burst-open shells were.
We brought a bunch home and started a “special project,” as she has taken to calling her art endeavors. We incorporated the treasures into our fall art crafting—take a look and you and your little may love painting with chestnuts, too!
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I’m considering starting a baby consulting business. Consultations will go like this.
My baby is cranky. She’s probably teething.
My baby doesn’t sleep. He’s probably teething.
My baby wants to eat all the time/won’t eat anything. She’s probably teething.
My baby bites me/other kids/the dog/wood chips at the playground. He’s definitely teething.
But after having two kids who have grown lots and lots of teeth, I have tried just about every product and technique to relieve teething pain. Here, then, are my recommendations for the best teething products.
Not too long ago I wrote about all the reasons why I’m a big fan of breastfeeding, in spite of the really, really hard stretches we’ve gone through to get to the pleasant parts. But the other day, when I was breastfeeding my toddler as we waited for Eric in the grocery store parking lot, I had to laugh. Kiwi kept standing up on my lap, turning her head to look out the window, and practically tap dancing all over me—staying latched all the while.
Breastfeeding a 14-month-old, I thought, is not like breastfeeding a baby.
But we’re still going strong. I’m not sure how long I’ll continue to breastfeed—until it stops working for us, I suppose—but I’m enjoying it while I still have this special time with Kiwi.
In the spirit of celebrating what we have, then, here are 10 reasons why I love breastfeeding my toddler.
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Warm muffins, melt-in-your-mouth rolls and all the pumpkin spice you could wish for: hello fall! Now that autumn days are cooler and crisper, I’m ready to take my oven out of its summer retirement. It’s no wonder that Peeper has been wanting to help me in the kitchen, too: She asks to help me make muffins at least once a week.
Of course a preschooler’s “help” in anything, especially an activity that involves dumping large quantities of messy flour, requires a certain amount of air quotes. But she loves it—and inviting a child to participate in choosing, preparing and serving food can encourage her to make healthier food choices in the future, according to research. (Um, do chocolate chip cookies count as a healthy food choice?)
Through plenty of experience, I have come across tips on how to bake with kids—without them losing a finger on a hot oven (or you losing your mind).