Truth: Outdoor Time Sometimes Stresses Me Out

boy riding bike
Outdoor time is so important… but sometimes it can feel tedious when our kids are very young.

I know, right? Me? The mom who blogs about the importance of taking your kids outside? Yep.  My kids are young (3 years old and baby), and I know that it won’t always be like this.  In a couple years I’ll open the door and say “go play,” and they’ll be running around in the neighborhood until dinner time.  But for now, pretty much all outdoor time requires hands on parenting and supervision.  The preschooler wants someone to play with, but the baby just wants to eat the grass.  It’s hot, and I can’t draw another stick figure on the sidewalk.  Sometimes playing inside is tempting because it’s… well… easier.  There I said it.  But yet I know outdoor time is important, I love the outdoors myself, and I don’t want to discourage their desire to be outside.  So what to do?  Read on. Continue reading “Truth: Outdoor Time Sometimes Stresses Me Out”

What Happened to the Zika Virus? And Can I Take My Baby to Latin America?

Mosquito
Zika virus is spread by two types of mosquitos.

Last year, it seemed like the Zika virus was in the news daily.  At least it seemed that way to me, as I was pregnant and thus at risk for having a baby with birth defects if I contracted it.  Luckily, the virus did not hit the United States the way some models predicted it might.  And while I don’t want to belittle the experience of those who did contract it, most US mamas and babies survived the scare without incident save for a few areas of Florida and Texas.  But since then, we haven’t heard much about Zika.  Is the epidemic over?  Should pregnant women still avoid travel to Zika areas? What about young children?  In this article I will bring you up to speed on the latest regarding this somewhat unusual epidemic. Continue reading “What Happened to the Zika Virus? And Can I Take My Baby to Latin America?”

Traveling With Kids: Choosing the Best Stroller for Your Trip

Little boy pushing stroller
Bonus win — if your older child will push the younger one!

You planned an awesome trip and it’s time to pack!  You’re cruising along collecting everyone’s stuff when you hit the age old traveling-with-kids question — “do we bring a stroller?” If you have more than one stroller,  the next question is likely “which one?”  The answer of course, depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing.  How much space you have and whether you need the storage bin.  It’s not one size fits all.  Our handy stroller decision chart can help you determine the best stroller for your trip, quickly and easily every time! Continue reading “Traveling With Kids: Choosing the Best Stroller for Your Trip”

All The More Epic: On Adventure and Kids

Author and husband on top of rock ledge
We hiked to the top of this rock arch in the Jordanian desert on one of our first dates!

Tonight, on the eve of our first adventure of the summer, I sit here reflecting on what it means to have “adventures”.  And how that has changed since having kids.  Many, dare I say most, assume that adventures have to stop when kids enter the picture, at least for a while.  I used to think that, and initially I mourned the loss of a part of myself.  But now, with my oldest just turned three and a baby entering her first summer, I believe kids actually provide more opportunities for adventure.  Intrigued? Read on!  Continue reading “All The More Epic: On Adventure and Kids”

“Best Of”: Awesome Hacks for Stress-Free Travel With Kids

Bear in suitcaseSummer is almost here, and that means if you’re planning a summer trip, it’s time to get organized.  I personally love the excitement and anticipation of researching and planning a trip!  But if you travel with kids, especially young kids, there are also many stressors involved.  From car seats to hotel arrangements, to keeping everyone semi-occupied and happy on the plane and in the car, the details can sometimes get overwhelming.  Googling “travel with kids” can bring you some great ideas, but going through all the lists and figuring out what will help and what’s more work than it’s worth is, well, more work.  We can help!  Below is our “best of” list, bringing you gear, ideas, and one awesome travel hack that will, hopefully, make this summer’s trip less stressful! Continue reading ““Best Of”: Awesome Hacks for Stress-Free Travel With Kids”

Fluency Not Required: Foreign Language Exposure is Great for Kids!

Kids blocks with Arabic letters.
The benefits of being bilingual at an early age has been well studied. But what about more limited exposure?

We have all heard the advantages of being bilingual, especially at a young age.  A number of studies have shown that children who learn two languages from early childhood have an easier time learning other languages later, and are able to speak multiple languages without an accent.  Some studies even suggest knowing more than one language can help offset dementia.  That said, usually bilingual children either have at least one parent who is fluent in second language, or they speak a language at home that is different from the one used outside the home.  For most of us, that’s not in the cards.  But what about limited foreign language exposure?  Does that do anything?  In this post I’ll review the studies relating to this topic and provide a few suggestions for how to easily integrate a second language into your kids’ lives (and your own!). Continue reading “Fluency Not Required: Foreign Language Exposure is Great for Kids!”

Amazing Outdoor Play: Six More Powerful Reasons To Play Outside

Boy Looking At Tree
Time spent outside, even on cloudy days, can protect against nearsightedness.

We all know that outdoor play is good for children.  It encourages them to be active, which aids motor development and can help prevent future obesity.  Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for everyone’s mood and help reduce stress.  Safe sun exposure (more on that in a later post) helps make vitamin D.  And the list goes on.  But sometimes, getting outside can be a challenge.  We all have days where we need additional motivation.  Below I’ll talk about six lesser known but equally important reasons to get your munchkins outside, even when you’re not feeling it. Continue reading “Amazing Outdoor Play: Six More Powerful Reasons To Play Outside”