via GIPHY April break is over, and both my children and I have summer on our minds. There are six more weeks of school, and our goal is to survive it. We were fortunate to have a week of amazing, warm, sunny weather for last week’s school break which really clicked all of our brains into summer-mode. We unpacked the shorts, there are s’more ingredients perpetually stocked in our pantry, and the massive Ikea tote of beach toys has returned to its home in the minivan. If you haven’t already, you should read this classic piece by Jen Hatmaker, because this is my brain right now. There are some things that we will have to accept just are not happening now that we remembered how lovely beach trips and popsicle playdates at the park are. Here are a few we’ve all agreed to give up on at this point: Fancy packed lunches are over. Lunch is more…minimalist…than it was back in September. A banana, a sandwich, maybe a baggie of pretzels? The days of cute notes have passed us by. “School” outfits are so last winter. Gone are the days of “school shirts versus play shirts”. Tie-dye for 5 straight days? How colorful! Bedtime is getting later. I’ve always been a stickler for early bedtimes. 7:30 for my younger son; 7:45 for my older son. However, when my “baby” is about to turn five and...Read More
Author: Sarah Bernhardson
We are staring into the horizon of April vacation at our house these days, and as we often do during school breaks, we’ll be stay-cationing our way thorough that week here in good old Connecticut. We’ve been at this whole “stay-cation” thing for years now, so it’s sometimes a challenge to come up with new, exciting things to do…that are also not packed with other local families. This coming week, we have loads of options, fortunately! Below is a collection of what I am seeing as the best local options for April vacation fun! The Peabody Museum in New Haven is always...Read More
Eight springs ago, I was pregnant with my first son. I was working at a job that I really loved, I’d known my husband for four years, and I was pretty sure I had life figured out. Sure, having a child would change some things, but life would mostly stay the same with the addition of an adorable, swaddled bundle. I will alway remember that spring, and feeling that the unknown was rapidly approaching, but not feeling the urgency of exactly how different it would be. The following eight years have been a blur of time, peppered with colic, moving to a...Read More
When I was an undergraduate studying art education, we spent lots and lot of time discussing process versus product in the art room: What is more important in an art lesson, particularly in the younger grades…the creative process in which children engage or the final product that they create? Opinions vary on this topic, and volumes have been written about it. My thoughts on the matter tend to be that it’s a continuum; process matters almost exclusively in the early years of art-making, and as children grow, develop, and become more aware of their abilities as an artist, they begin to use their skills to create something specific, often with a message. This is when product begins to matter as much as process. As a parent, however, the answer isn’t so clear. Pinterest, where I spend an embarrassing amount of my free-time pinning party ideas, home decor, fashion inspiration, and of course, projects for my kids, is chock full of product-oriented projects for young children. These are the projects we so often see on bulletin boards in schools and daycares; there are rows and rows of construction paper trees, each looking just like the one before it, clearly created from a teacher’s model. I can see value in this sort of project: children are practicing cutting, gluing, fine motor skills, following multi-step directions…but is it really an art project? I’m...Read More
When I first moved out of my parents’ house, the thought occurred to me that I would now be solely responsible for my own meals, every single day. For someone who loves to plan, such as myself, this was oddly overwhelming. While I loved “free taco bar at happy hour” night just as much as the next 22 year old, I put quite a lot of time and thought into meal planning: what could I cook that was A) cheap, B) relatively healthy, C) delicious, and D) did I mention very cheap? I started listing dinners that were successes on all fronts so I’d have a bank of ideas from which I could pull weekly. I plotted where I’d shop based on grocery store sale fliers, and planned a weekly menu based on coupons and store specials. via GIPHY I lamented how much I spent on food each week, striving for healthier meals and lower totals at the check out. For whatever reason, I felt guilty if I spent more than I’d planned to on my weekly Stop & Shop trip. Even now, over a decade later, and with two children and a husband, my weekly grocery shopping trip is a source of stress. Figuring out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for four people– one quasi-vegetarian, one omnivore, and two picky children– while staying within a budget isn’t easy. via GIPHY But this...Read More
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