All posts in Parenting

NaPiBoWriWee: My 7 Picture Books

NaPiBoWriWee: My 7 Picture Books

NaPiBoWriWee week was last month, and I attempted to write seven picture books in seven days. That didn’t go so well, but I did manage to write three picture books, edit two picture book manuscripts that I had written a few weeks earlier, and come up with four new picture book ideas.

I think that’s the point of NaPiBoWriWee week … even if you don’t hit your goal of writing seven picture books in seven weeks, you are much closer to your goal by just attempting it.


Next year, I will actually do some work prior to NaPiBoWriWee week so that I’ll have seven picture book ideas already conceived, with notes and research for each book. This is probably the only way I can actually pull off seven picture books in seven day.  Read more…

Diversity, Inclusion & #Activate4Autism Movement

Diversity, Inclusion & #Activate4Autism Movement

Please welcome, Jodi Murphy of Geek Club Books, with today’s pots on #Activate4Autism movement.


“When we speak about diversity and inclusion, it’s important to include everyone in our community, and that includes those on the autism spectrum. I activate my voice for autism.”

I’m speaking out for diversity and inclusion for all. For the last 3 years, I’ve participated in Multicultural Children’s Book Day because, like its founders Mia and Valerie, I believe that children must be able to find themselves in the books they read. Beyond seeing diversity in literature, I want to see inclusiveness spread into every aspect of our culture, especially for those on the autism spectrum.

Chances are someone in your community or social network is on the autism spectrum. You may not be aware of the challenges they face. Most grow up with a sense of shame because they’ve been stereotyped, judged as strange, and often bullied for being different. If you have a loved one with autism, you know how important it is that we help the public gain a deeper understanding of the autism experience. Read more…

Marc Gargaro boxing trainer for US National Elite Team

HOW TO COACH GIRLS Progress Report

We are so thrilled to have fifteen coaches lending their wisdom to How To Coach Girls. The lineup of coaches is below. After the interviews were conducted, two of these coaches received recognition:

Acacia Walker, Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse, Boston College was named NCAA Division 1 Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the year!

Marc Gargaro, Boxing Trainer, Nonantum Boxing Club was selected as a national coach for both the men’s and women’s USA Boxing Elite National Team that competes in the Pan Am and Olympic games.

Marc Gargaro boxing trainer for US National Elite Team

With 70% of kids quitting organized sports by age 13 and girls quitting at six times the rate than boys, it’s clear the the priority for coaches and parents is to keep their girls in sport!

The benefits of sports for girls are numerous: higher self esteem, higher high school graduation rates, lower teen pregnancy rates, less issues with body image, travel opportunities, overcoming adversity, setting and reaching goals, making new friends, and fitness for life.

We hope our book will help parents feel confident to volunteer as coaches, and coaches to feel like they have a resource that has practical ideas for creating team chemistry and keeping girls engaged in sport.

Ainslee Lamb on how to keep girls in sport:

And now for our lineup of coaches:

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila, President at MGA Sports Inc., and High Performance Court Coach, USA Volleyball

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila has coached volleyball for almost 30 years. In addition to having held the position of Assistant Coach for Harvard University, he has coached high school volleyball for both boys and girls at Newton South, Wellesley, Sacred Heart, and Weston High Schools. He currently coaches at the club level for Smash Volleyball, as well as at his own club, MGA. For the U.S.A. Women’s National Volleyball Team, Fabe was a coach for the setters who competed at the Rio Olympics under Coach Karch Kiraly. He is currently working at U.S.A. Volleyball with high performance athletes, training future Olympians. Last, but certainly not least, he coached his three daughters who all play at an advanced level.

How to Coach Girls Read more…

Everyday Birds

Please Help Us Celebrate #peaceday Today!

Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater are championing  the United Nations International Day of Peace which is today, September 21.

They are hoping that our educator and author and illustrator friends will flood the internet with images, poems, books, and ideas of peace on this day (9/21) along with the UN hashtag #peaceday.

Please Help Us Celebrate #peaceday Today!

Dylan Metrano (illustrator of Every Day Birds) made this image to share and use as a profile picture.

Everyday Birds Read more…

6 New Advances in Dentistry You Need To Know About

6 New Advances in Dentistry You Need To Know About

Are you taking good care of your teeth? Believe it or not, good oral care can have major implications for all sorts of aspects of your health, and dental problems that are left untreated can turn into serious complications that can even be life-threatening in some situations. Even if a dentist appointment is one of the last things you want to see on your calendar, you have to know that maintaining clean and healthy teeth needs to be a huge priority for you and your family. Fortunately, the science and technology of dental care is constantly changing and advancing. It’s just drills, gold fillings, and dentures anymore. If you’ve got cavities, periodontal disease, broken or missing teeth, or anything else that necessitates a trip to the dentist’s office, you should read up on some of the amazing new things dentists can do for you these days. Here’s a few that you might have missed hearing about if it’s been awhile since you lowered yourself into a dentist’s chair.

  1. Sedation dentistry

Getting sedated isn’t just for major procedures like wisdom tooth extraction anymore. For people who have high levels of anxiety about getting their teeth worked on, there are a variety of medication options dentists can use to put you in a state where you can comfortably get through the procedure—even if it’s just a cleaning. Dentists trained in sedation dentistry practices can help you safely reach the right state of relaxation and awareness you need. Read more…

How to Purchase the Best Stroller for Your Family’s Needs – 5 Questions

How to Purchase the Best Stroller for Your Family’s Needs – 5 Questions

Picking out a stroller is a rite of passage for expectant moms or dads. Along with the variety of baby stroller brands comes the many types you can buy from each brand. If weeks have passed since your search has begun, but you are no closer to choosing a stroller, this guide might clear the buyer’s fog.

Here are 5 questions that can help narrow down your choice.

How to Purchase the Best Stroller for Your Family’s Needs – 5 Questions

  1. Do I want a stroller that will double as a car seat for my baby?

An all-in-one travel system stroller consists of a stroller, seat base, plus an infant car seat. While these all-in-one strollers are typically heavy and can take up quite a bit of space, they have advantages that you may want. The infant car seat can typically be unsnapped from the stroller and placed in the car, all without waking up Little Junior to do so. This option is not for you, however, if you live in the city and don’t own a car. Or rarely use the car for your day-to-day errand shopping. Read more…

Teaching Kids DIY Skills: Woodworking Projects for Kids

Teaching Kids DIY Skills

I’m not very handy myself and I’ve come to realize that knowing how to fix and make things is a learned skill passed down from parent to child. My kids did take Tech Ed in middle school, a version of wood shop, which taught them how to use tools, a great first step.

girls and wood shop

This is a replica of a Mesopotamia Throne that my daughter and her friend built for a class project.

Two of my kids like to build things using tools. PickyKidPix prefers power tools to build her woodworking projects. My son has been crafting wooden swords using planes, knives, and carving tools.

wooden sword woodworking projects for kids

Now that it’s starting to warm up here in Boston, our backyard deck is bare of furniture, so I asked my husband if he would tackle a project and have our kids help out. Father to son and daughter power! Let’s pass on the handiness. Read more…

Help Your Kids Have a More Creative Wedding

Help Your Kid Have A More Unique Wedding With These 7 Ideas

Your child getting married is a great moment. As they are planning the event, they are probably going to ask you for help at some point. If you want your child to have a truly unique day, consider mentioning some of the ideas below.

Have The Wedding In An Exotic Location

If you have the budget for it, having the wedding in an exotic location is a great way to make it unique. Every guest is sure to remember traveling to someplace new in order to watch your child get married. Consider having the wedding in the Bahamas, Europe, or even someplace very different like Iceland. Of course you’ll have to factor in the costs, not just for you but for all of the guests to attend, but should at least consider having the wedding someplace fun.

Choose A Theme Based on Common Interests

A great way to choose a theme for the wedding is by looking at the shared interests between the couple. For instance, if the couple has bonded over their shared love of hiking, you could center the theme around the outdoors, or even have the wedding outside. Or, if the two people getting married are teachers, you could decorate the wedding to look like a classroom. If you take the time to think about what the couple has in common, you’re likely to find something you can turn into a theme.

Set Up A Photobooth

A fun activity to set up at weddings is a photobooth. With a photobooth, guests can go in, take some silly pictures together, and then have a nice keepsake to take home with them. The couple can also get into the fun, taking pictures with all of their guests. The best part is that the bride and groom receive copies of all of the pictures taken, so they can share them after the wedding, or even turn them into custom thank-you cards. Read more…

RISD Admissions, Rhode Island School of Design

Applying to RISD: Advice from Antonio Peters in Admissions

RISD offered an admission session for parents of pre-college students this year. Antonio Peters led this informative session. I’ve condensed the one hour session into fourteen minutes in the video below.

RISD Admissions, Rhode Island School of Design

RISD Admissions Presentation for Pre-College Parents. How to apply and get into RISD by Antonio Peters, Assistant Director of Admissions.

Some pertinent information:

  • Show growth in your portfolio and be sure to label the circumstances in which the piece was created. Show timeframe of when piece was created … high school versus pre-college program. In class assignment versus private art teacher versus something I did at home for myself. Read more…