Get tips from the trenches with this information-packed blog from the authors of The Rookie Mom’s Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know, Heather Flett and Whitney Moss.

4 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities That Are Right in Your Town

4 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities That Are Right in Your Town

By the time your baby sits up, you’re probably aware of the myriad enrichment classes available to you: Music Together, Gymboree, Baby Massage, Le Petite Baleen, and more. I am a fan of all of them and have not one bad word to say about them.

Okay, maybe one bad word: Expensive.

While I do encourage you to try out a bunch of classes, because you never know where you might meet your new best mommy friend, I want to also make sure you know about these amazing, local, tax-payer-funded goodies for families with young children. Put them on a bucket list of things to do before your little one’s first birthday. More »

Maternity Leave Outings with Baby That Are Fun for You, Too

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When I have a long stretch of unstructured time, I just about lose my mind. My first maternity leave was like that, but compounded with hormones, a little one, and a lot of self-doubt. To find my new normal, I made tiny goals to leave the house every day.

I like to have goals and a to-do list, even if it’s someone else’s list. Maternity leave–whether for six weeks or six years–is a tremendous bonding opportunity with a new baby (plus, it can be a fun time off from work, too!). My best tip for maximizing your own enjoyment with this beautiful gift of time is to set your to-do list aside and create a new set of goals.
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3 Things on My Mother’s Day Wish List (That I’m Still Waiting For)

Mother's Day Reflections

My very first Mother’s Day I was not yet a mom. I was practically bursting with my nine-months-pregnant swollen belly and matching ankles; but I didn’t have a child.

My husband, Alec, and I had walked to a neighborhood cafe for a celebratory dinner. I was in flip-flops, because that’s about all I could wear on my marshmallow feet. Uncharacteristically for the Bay Area, it started torrentially pouring rain during dinner. I remember these silly details because the restaurant manager, a woman named Sarah, offered to drive us home the few blocks. Alec and I were still engaged in some rather heated baby-naming discussions and I figured that we could name our future surprise-baby Sarah rather than Sara, based on her kindness.

Three sons and nine Mother’s Days later… and things look rather different for me.

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5 Super-Fun Backyard Ideas for Kids (That You’ll Love, Too)

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Yay for spring and summer, where we can all run free in our own backyards with bare toes wiggling. (And BOO for nasty bee stings, splinters, and mommies yelling, “No! Don’t touch that!”)

Long have I had the fantasy of a perfect child-friendly backyard playscape… but the problem with such epic daydreams is that children have a way of growing up before they can actually come true. So today, I would like to share with you five fun and fabulous inspirations for making your backyard toddler-tastic TODAY (or, at least, this weekend!):

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Making Bathtime with Baby a Breeze

Making Bathtime for Baby a Breeze

A freshly bathed baby in snuggly pajamas is one of the best things in life, so it’s smart to keep your eyes on that prize when you embark on giving your baby a bath. Yes, it can be intimidating—but don’t stress!

The good news is, young babies can be bathed right in the kitchen sink or in an infant tub on the kitchen counter. I’d do that as long as possible, because the leaning, kneeling, and squatting required to bath an infant in a real bathtub is painful. (Try this one from Puj—it lays flat when not in use, and can be hung right on the back of your bathroom door.)
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Quick Tips for Prepping for Baby #2

Getting ready for baby #2

I’ve heard that two children is more than twice as hard, and I’ve heard that nothing is as difficult as the transition to first-time motherhood. (After that, you’re already a mom—you’re used to the shift in social life, work, and lack of rest that parenting brings.) Where do I stand on all this? Somewhere in the middle. In my experience, that second child intensifies the job of Mom, that’s for sure. But as for making it more than twice as hard? Eh, I don’t think so.

If you’re gearing up for Baby #2, here are some quick tips to help prep the entire family.
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How to Make Bedtime Stories Magical (and Still Get Your Kid to Sleep)

The Magic of Bedtime Stories

As the parent of a baby myself, the moment just after bedtime is one of my favorite parts of each day. Whether I’m feeling the sweet relief of being finally DONE or the warm afterglow of our cuddling, it’s all good.

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New Parent Tools That Will Finally Get You Back on Track

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The first year of your baby’s life, all bets are off. If you master a daily routine that includes a shower or preparing a balanced meal, you’re ahead of most folks. If you’re also holding down a full-time job, and you feel like a crazypants, you’re not alone. But at the end of the first year, it’s time to take control of the reins and find your new normal. After all, this parenting thing is not going away anytime soon.

Here are a few apps and online tools I recommend to help with the quest for sanity:
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Tales from the Potty Chair…

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My little guy is in the early stages of potty training now, and this phase has already lasted six months. But believe me, I’ve been through it all before. Here are the stages as I define them: Consideration, Ticking Time Bomb, and (finally) Success! More »

How to Do All Your Holiday Shopping in Your PJs

Happy holidays to my three boys

Baby, it’s cold outside. And while a little frost won’t hurt you, when it comes to the holiday shopping crowds… why bother? Skip the hassle and do it from home!

Here are a few fresh ideas for crossing off your holiday list–right from your couch. More »