Blog Posts by Parentables

  • Upgrade Your Summer Look for Under $100

    This post was written by Susan Wagner. Photo: Dr. Scholl's Shoes

    Summer's here, in full force, and no matter what you're doing -- running kids around all day or racing to the office and back -- you're probably falling into a wardrobe rut. It can be hard to get motivated to look good when it's hot, and the lazy days of summer are no incentive. But instead of giving up and giving in and tossing on that same tee-and-shorts outfit again, look for simple ways to upgrade your wardrobe. I've got three suggestions, which will cost you under $100 -- total -- and will work with what you're already wearing. Ready?

    Statement sandals: When I was a kid, my mom wore Dr. Scholl's sandals -- the "original exercise sandals." I remember borrowing them during the summer and wearing them with everything. I also remember that while they were super cool, they weren't particularly comfortable. Dr. Scholl's shoes have come a long way since then; they're still making that same retro-70s design,

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  • To Montessori or Not to Montessori?

    This post was written by Julie Douglas. Photo credit: Elyse Lewin/Getty Images.

    When I was eight months pregnant, my husband and I visited a Montessori school and fell in love with the place. Here we saw well-behaved toddlers sitting on their tiny chairs, eating off of tiny tables with tiny vases of black-eyed susans brightening up their snacks of cheese, fruit and crackers (that they had prepared themselves, no less). There we saw a lanky 6-year-old girl leaning against the wall, her ears covered with earphones, presumably listening to the nearby classical CD.

    It had everything we were looking for: a secondary language spoken, plenty of activities for kids to choose from, a sense of order, and more than anything, the unspoken promise that your child wouldn't be treated as just another kid to be tended to; she would be treated as an individual.

    Those were heady days. And while I still want that and more for my daughter, now that she's 2 and I've had a chance to do

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  • Back to School Already? Shop Early to Save on School Uniforms and More

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Gap

    It is only mid-July and as far as I'm concerned summer has just begun. In fact, where I am in the northeast the sun just really started to shine about two weeks ago, so I'm not that far off. So it kills me to see the Back-to-School signs flooding the stores already. Let us enjoy the summer please! I don't even want to think about Fall right now. I've barely got my base tan yet. But alas, we can't completely avoid it and there is actually good reason not to for those of you whose children wear school uniforms, carry backpacks or lunch boxes (i.e. just about everyone with school age children) because you can save 30-percent on them at Gap Kids right now!

    Gap Kids offers school uniform pieces in navy, khaki, white, oxford blue and more for both boys and girls. With a wide selection of styles, your students can opt for a short-sleeve pique polo shirt or a long-sleeve oxford. Take your pick of shorts, pants, skirts,

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  • How My Cheers for Kindergarten Turned Into Tears for Kindergarten

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images

    The invasion of the back-to-school ads on television and in stores kicked into high gear this week. While it has always driven me nuts that the bombardment of pencils and backpacks starts when it feels like summer is just getting started (even though I know there are people out there who really do start shopping now), there has never really been a reason for me to care. My kids have been in year-round daycare so the shift from summer to the school-year has never been a big deal. But this year the ads are really getting to me for some reason. My firstborn also happens to be heading off to kindergarten in September. Might there be a connection between the two? I hate to admit it, but most definitely.

    Longing for Kindergarten to Start

    My son's first day of kindergarten is one of those things I've envisioned since he was in the womb, just like his first birthday, graduations from

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  • 7 Faux Pas You Should Never Say to a Mother of Twins

    Post and photo by Gayle Weiswasser.

    There are a lot of twins around these days. Yet, people are still fascinated by multiples, and, despite good intentions, ask a lot of questions that drive us twin moms a little crazy. Here are some things not to say to a twin mom the next time you see her:

    1. "Do twins run in your family?" Either they do (which will lead to fraternal twins, not identical twins), or they don't, but if she had some help in the fertility department, it forces her to go down a road she may not want to go down with a complete stranger.

    2. "When did you find out you were having twins?" If she did IVF, she found out really early. Again, this is a question she might not want to answer - see #1.

    3. "I don't know how you do it." She probably doesn't either, but she doesn't really have a choice.

    4. "How lucky! Now you're done." Maybe she doesn't want to be done but she can't get pregnant, or maybe she does and her husband doesn't, or vice versa.

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  • What Your Kids Should Learn from Harry Potter's Last Lesson

    This post was written by Susan Wagner. Photo: Corbis

    I took my son to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" last night. I wasn't sure this was the smartest thing to do, but not for the reasons you might expect. Up until the moment the film started, I was questioning my decision to bring a nine-year-old to a midnight movie, particularly in the last half hour before midnight, when Charlie was looking especially peaked. I worried that he was up too late and that staying out until 3:00 am would mean a cranky kid all weekend long. I never once worried that the movie itself would be too much for him, though. And once the movie started, I knew I'd done the right thing in bringing him.

    I am thrilled that my sons are Harry Potter fans. The series -- books and films -- is chock full of important lessons, for adults and kids alike. My sons, particularly my younger son, have gained so much from these stories. Both the books and the movies have generated long discussions

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  • Go From Casual Mom to Dressed Like a Duchess in Five Easy Steps

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for British Consul-General-Los-Angeles

    It's no secret that Kate Middleton is the world's newest style icon and it appears she's in it for the long haul with nary a mis-step. Women across the world are flocking to web sites and stores to snatch up every dress she dons and you'd be hard pressed to find one available. While Middleton's outfits are often off the rack and relatively affordable (at least for royalty or a celebrity), they are still a little too far out of my budget and considering that they are pretty much all sold out, it doesn't really matter. But that doesn't mean that you and I still can't get the same look by following Middleton's fashion rules.

    1. Monotones

    While Middleton doesn't shy away from color, she mostly chooses items that are a single color and often in jewel tones. This look is easier to achieve by wearing dresses as they tend to be the same fabric

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  • Should Dads Get Extra Praise for Basic Parenting?

    Post and photo by Sarah Fernandez.

    My husband is a very hands-on dad. I honestly never expected anything less. There was no conversation about him having to chip in and share duties. It was just understood that that was the way it would be. We both worked when our first child was born and for sanity's sake and our financial situation, there was little other choice.

    But lately I've noticed people making comments that he's so great because he'll give them a bath, watch them when I have work to do on a weekend, or even when he is chasing them around at an event instead of just standing around with the guys drinking beer. And he is great. That's why I married him. But nobody praises me for bathing my children or chasing them around at events or watching them while he's working (and I'm working too while watching them-just at home) nor do I expect them to. Shouldn't dads be expected to do just as much as moms and why are we letting them get away with not doing so if they aren't?

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  • 3 Ways to Make Your Family Vacation Educational -- and Fun

    Post and photo by Britt Reints.
    I think educational travel gets a bad rap among parents and kids. While touring government buildings and exploring historic sites may not sound like an average child's idea of a good time, it is possible to plan a family vacation that is both educational and fun for kids. In fact, I'd suggest that building a little learning into your travel itinerary may actually make your getaway more enjoyable for everyone. Why bother with learning on vacation?

    The thought of turning family vacation into learning opportunities conjures up images of demanding mothers who never let their children relax; it's certainly not my intention to be like that. However, I have found that my kids actually behave better when their brains are engaged and they're being challenged. A day or two doing nothing but hanging by the pool is great, but too much downtime has my children begging for something to do and picking at each other, neither of which is conducive to a fun family

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  • Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks to Pack for Your Next Family Road Trip

    This post was written by Jenni Grover. Image Credit: Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images

    Summer is such a great time to travel but, when kids are involved, the packing tends to be a bit more intensive. You have to pack all the kid-friendly extras like toys, books, car/plane activities, lovies, baby monitors, etc. etc. etc. Check out these helpful packing tips here and here. But one of the most important items to remember to pack is a giant bag of food. And because kids eat up to 6 times per day depending on age, packing snacks and food is essential for keeping the kids happy. (And keeping your wallet in check!)

    As a registered dietitian with a toddler, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, "What healthy foods can I take with me on a trip?" My family has taken many long car trips and plane rides, so I know first hand that the healthy options for eating out on the road or in the airport are slim to nil - just take a look at Kelly's excellent piece on why eating out

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