Talltape

COMMENTS: 3

uncategorized family  Talltape

I’ve always loved the idea of marking out your kids’ heights on a wall or doorframe. I picture years and years of scratch marks recorded in the laundry room, a record of growth spurts that remains well after they’ve headed off to college. But the chances that you’ll stay in the same house—will the same laundry room—for all of those years is, for most of us, slim. So whenever I see a good alternative, I can’t help but take note.

This one is called Talltape, and what I like about it (because there are a few options out there now) is: a. it’s portable, and can be rolled up into a canister for storing if you don’t want to display it all the time; b. it’s wide enough to mark multiple children on one and tall enough to stretch into most adulthoods (6’6″ doesn’t quite accomodate Aron, but that’s a…er… tall order) ; and c. it comes in basic white! like your wall! (In addition to fairies and the like.) Most of the one’s I’ve seen are covered in art I’d likely grow tired of and only stretch to three or so feet. Hudson is already 40″ tall!

Talltape has been available in Europe for a few years now, but is just now being released in America.

uncategorized family  Talltape

uncategorized family  Talltape

You might recall that we have something similar in Hudson’s room, called Life’s Journey Measuring Stick. He loves standing up beside it (you can see it on the door frame, below) and will hand me a book as he wedges his heals against the baseboard. It’s a bit narrow for marking both his and Skyler’s heights, but I think we’ll manage. And though I love the nostalgic link to those old wooden rulers and its simple, pared down design, it would ideally sit flush with the wall a bit more easily. But either would be a sweet way to preserve a special memory.

uncategorized family  Talltape

P.S. The monthly baby photos we save; our kids’ rooms; and my (updated) baby registry guide.

 

 

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Three years (36 months)

COMMENTS: 33

family  Three years (36 months)

family  Three years (36 months)

family  Three years (36 months)

I used to write posts marking each month in Hudson’s first year, with photos of him on the same couch. My intention was to switch to every six months, but it’s been two years. So this one is extremely long. I thought about editing it, but instead I’m just posting with the caveat that you might just want to look at the photos and leaving the reading (and re-reading) to me and his dad.

Happy Birthday, Hudson! You can officially call yourself three, now.

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Thinking about: Life, Animated

COMMENTS: 18

uncategorized family  Thinking about: Life, Animated

I just had one of those NPR-driveway moments where I can’t bring myself to turn off the program and step out of the car. Instead, I sat and listened to author Ron Suskind talk from his book, Life, Animateduncategorized family  Thinking about: Life, Animated  , about his autistic son and the field of affinity therapy… tearing up.

(Which isn’t totally remarkable, I suppose, if you know me. It’s really a shame that getting emotional isn’t considered a more valuable skill.)

The interview was so touching that I had to share it.

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Quick trip to Tahoe

He’s up! First (real) bike!

COMMENTS: 7

family  Hes up! First (real) bike!
family  Hes up! First (real) bike!
family  Hes up! First (real) bike!
family  Hes up! First (real) bike!
family  Hes up! First (real) bike!

Hudson turns three next week! Can you believe it?! Excuse me if I get nostalgic around here come next Thursday. We’re celebrating this Sunday with a little party for him. I’m so excited. I keep asking him what he wants on his cake and the answer is different every day. Chocolate, most commonly. But also: “Red.” “And white and blue and lots of cakes.” “Animals, like a skunk and butterfly.” “Nummy one.” “With a stop sign.” (Me: “A stop sign?”) “Yes, a tiny one.”

Full of surprises. Like… (fancy transition here): getting up on a bike last week!! We gave him his present early because a screw came loose on his balance bike—so we thought, why not?! It was awesome. He was up in maybe 30 minutes! I couldn’t believe it. (And yet I could because we always remark that one of Hudson’s skills is motion. Constant motion.)

But it really is stirring to watch them take off—and to have to let go! You’re holding on and telling yourself… “Okay, let go. Okay, let go.” And your hands have to cooperate, but it’s really hard! Oh… full of so many life metaphors, that bike-riding thing.

family  Hes up! First (real) bike!

I posted a video on Instagram. (On Vimeo, here he is just starting out; and going “super fast.“)

In other news, some links for Friday…

I’m certain that Hudson was up and pedaling so fast thanks to his Balance Bike. Follow the link for more on that, and an interesting article about balance bikes versus training wheels.

Also, on the subject of biking: Raluca put (figurative) pen-to-paper much more keenly in this post about watching her daughter learn to ride a bike.

This house in Sydney features a beautiful (and brilliant) pulley system.
Via Sho & Tell, Grandpa’s Photos: a beautiful tribute to family, travel, photography, and memory.
On naming our things. (We had a neighbor who named each car. Do you do that?)
A real-life rainbow forest.

Love this wonderful round-up of shared kids’ rooms. Do your kids share a room?

Uncharacteristically, there are two giveaways on the site right now: Win a Cuisinart baby food maker (find a recipe from here and leave a comment on this post). And win this necklace (directions on Instagram).

Finally, next week I’m sharing a collaboration with Target—hope you’ll follow along!

Have a great weekend!

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Homemade food for baby

COMMENTS: 66

uncategorized family  Homemade food for baby
uncategorized family  Homemade food for baby

uncategorized family  Homemade food for baby

At Skyler’s 4-month-checkup, her pediatrician mentioned that we could start letting her try solid foods—if she seemed interested. [Insert record scratch, here.] What?! Wasn’t she just coming home from the hospital?

I remember, with Hudson, I was really on top of it at first: pureeing fruits and vegetables like yams, carrots, broccoli, green beans, and peas—they looked so bright and colorful. But there came a time when he was eating an awful lot of avocado and banana because, in New York, they’re available everywhere and you can mash them up with just a fork. If he was going to eat vegetables on the go, it was really was a tremendous help to be prepared.

uncategorized family  Homemade food for baby

So while I try and remember where I stored those little baby spoons and think about what food we should start with this time, Cuisinart offered that we try their baby food maker & bottle warmer. Better yet, they offered that I give one away (see below)!

uncategorized family  Homemade food for baby

There are a million good books on baby food, and you should consult with your own pediatrician, but…

Here are a few things I learned the first time around: 

Start Slow. In the first month or two, it’s suggested you wait a few days in between each new food you introduce to watch for allergic reactions.

But Get Creative. With a few exceptions (honey, raw dairy, undercooked meat…) there’s very little reason not to offer babies exactly what you eat. Season their food, let them reach for what’s on your plate, and try combinations that would appeal to you—like white bean puree with olive oil or spinach and blueberries. Making tacos for dinner? Toss the fixings into the baby food maker! (Cuisinart has a recipe book with tons of suggestions.)

Prep Ahead. You can use the Cuisinart Baby Food Maker to make meals in batches. It steams, chops and purees vegetables and fruits (and even meats) for you to freeze and store for later. Pour homemade baby food into clean ice cube trays (cover and transfer to a ziploc bag later) or into baby-specific feeding cubes for freezing. Either way, they’re the perfect size for a meal.

Be Safe! Be sure to label and date any food you make. Check FoodSafety.Gov for storage guidelines and how to properly defrost baby food.

uncategorized family  Homemade food for baby

Giveaway: Okay, so here’s how you can win a Cuisinart Baby Food Maker.  Just visit the Cuisinart Baby Recipe page for inspirations. Share a favorite recipe from there, or one of your own, in the comment field by 11:59pm PST, Sunday July 13. Your comment enters you to win a Cuisinart Baby Food Maker.

I’ll get in touch with the winner for a mailing address. Good luck!

Thank you, Cuisinart, for sponsoring this post and supporting Hither & Thither!

P.S. Hudson’s first bites. And toddler lunches on-the-go.

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Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

COMMENTS: 14

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

With so many babies on the horizon, I’d thought I’d revisit a topic from my first pregnancy. (A handful of you may have seen a version of this on my old site, Baby Mine.)

Being fortunate enough to take a sort of “last-hurrah” vacation as an expectant couple should be enough, right? You should already count yourself lucky (especially if somebody else is nice enough to watch your older child or children while you’re gone).

So let me preface this by saying that I realize this is not a real problem and that I fear that this will sound ridiculous. But some of you might be realizing that choosing a good destination when you’re expecting is a challenge!

And it occurred to me that I’m probably not the only one out there who has Googled “traveling while pregnant” for destination ideas to find that the only links returned are articles on getting up and walking during long plane flights. In the end, I can only offer that (1) these are some of the factors you might consider, (2) you will get to travel again once the baby arrives (and the real challenges begin), and (3) you’ll have a great time regardless. Think of it less as a last hurrah and more of a chance to celebrate what’s to come.

In our case, the first getaway during my first pregnancy was to Montreal, to celebrate an anniversary. Aron worried about the long car ride, and I feared that a romantic getaway to the “Paris of the North” (in the winter) wouldn’t be the same without foie gras; stinky, unpasteurized cheeses; dips in a steamy, hot jacuzzi; or copious glasses of wine.

Obviously, we got over it.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

The next vacation we got to plan was for a February escape to warmer climes (and hopefully a sun-drenched beach). We’d taken a trip to India the previous April (with the push being that we should seize the opportunity to see a place I’d always dreamed of visiting before having a baby might keep us away for a while), and we actually considered a repeat trip while our visas were still valid. But it seemed unnecessarily risky: Aron had gotten sick briefly on our last visit, and the fear of food-borne illness–potentially devastating to a fetus–loomed large. We also thought about all of the bug repellent we had applied (instead of taking anti-malarials), and knowing that I would now neither feel comfortable using Deet nor taking anti-malarials placed the destination firmly in the no-go category. We had really hoped to go somewhere that could prove challenging with a baby or small child (as opposed to a kid-friendly, domestic spot like Florida), but found that most places that are warm in February are in the tropics and posed similar problems.

I think it was around the time that I reminded my husband that I also couldn’t scuba dive that he was ready to give up on warm weather altogether, suggesting instead that we head for snowy mountains and embrace the winter. But I quickly vetoed the thought of a non-skiing, non-hot-tubbing, non-hot-toddy drinking week in the snow. Picky, picky.

In the end, we got very lucky: my parents (probably tired of my indecision) came to the rescue with a gift of a Caribbean cruise and we had an amazing time! We also snuck off to Napa for a few days of couple-time and laughed at ourselves for booking a trip to the wine region at five months pregnant.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

Since then, over two pregnancies, I’ve traveled a lot in the expectant state and my conclusion? (Hint: It’s the same with all questions of travel.) Go!

Yes, there will be heartburn. No, you can’t toss back margaritas. Yes, you will probably spend far too much time agonizing over a maternity bathing suit. But not as much time as you’ll spend agonizing over the first postpartum one.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

I’d vote the best time is late in the second trimester or early in the third, when you’re unlikely to be sick, likely to look pregnant, likely able to stay up past 9pm, and unlikely to be in early labor or any sort of stressed-out nesting mode.

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

family  Babymoon? Thoughts on traveling while pregnant

P.S. More encouragement: Trips we took while I was pregnant with Hudson or Skyler to Cape CodCalistogaHawaiiGrand CaymanYosemite and Lake Tahoe.

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Infants can Float (& Friday links)

COMMENTS: 10

uncategorized family  Infants can Float (& Friday links)
uncategorized family  Infants can Float (& Friday links)

You may have seen the slideshow of swimming babies on the New York Times Magazine site already. I know I immediately called Aron over to look, because underwater photos of babies are always amazing.

But the story of infants taking survival swim classes, and this video sort of blew my mind. (And sort of terrified me.)

What are you up to this weekend? I’m hoping to get some swimming in and will definitely be thinking about this!
Here are a few other things worth a further look…

How to get your nail polish off your rug. Or your shirt. Or your phone.
Behind the scenes of the coolest (get it?) summer infographic.
Inspiration from the most fashionable grandpas. (Sorry, dad.)
How to actually wear a fanny pack.
And, then, a fancy fanny pack to choose: this one or this one.
An interesting alternative to traditional summer camp: cooking camps for kids.
A truly Californian cookie: chocolate chip with avocado.
rainbow mountain range in China, straight out of Dr. Seuss.
Wise words from Amy Poehler.
Beautiful photo essay on children and their nannies, in New York City.
I love this: Literary city guides.
[Image by Seth Casteel for The New York Times. Video via Kottke.]
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Are You Happy with your Morning Routine?

COMMENTS: 17

uncategorized family  Are You Happy with your Morning Routine?

uncategorized family  Are You Happy with your Morning Routine?

According to this article, we each can expect to have roughly 25,000 mornings in our adult lives.

What does yours look like? Are you happy with your routine?

I think one of the hardest parts of being a mother to an infant is getting inspired to make grand, sweeping plans and then facing the reality that it may not be the best moment in life to rely on predictability. One has to remind herself: routine will come (on strongly) soon enough.

But having a new little person around, being home and taking some time to just sit quietly nursing or dangling a jingly toy, has a tendency to inspire thinking more broadly… about the big picture. How should I be getting my exercise? How should I establish better eating habits? Am I spending my working hours efficiently? Am I doing the work I want to be doing? Am I making the best choices for both/all of us?

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Happy Father’s Day!

COMMENTS: 5

family  Happy Fathers Day!

The other day, Hudson came running through the restaurant to me, biggest grin across his face: “I go poo-poo in the potty, mommy!” Aron, smiling behind, would tell me later how, in the cramped stall, he juggled Hudson’s to-go cup of milk in one hand while he held Hudson across his lap with the other to wipe his bottom. Suddenly, he said, he heard slurping and realized that while he was wiping, Hudson (still across Aron’s lap with his pants down) had found the straw with his mouth and had started drinking the milk.

That about sums it up, I thought.

Aron, you’re the best! Happy Father’s Day! xoxo

P.S. This reminded me of a book of listsfamily  Happy Fathers Day!  that has been making me laugh so hard lately. (Thanks, Joanna.)

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Milestones (and Friday links)

COMMENTS: 4

uncategorized family  Milestones (and Friday links)

I posted a couple on Instagram, but here’s another photo from last week: Little miss Skyler is already four months old!

And though she can’t say so, I know she’s as in love with her daddy as we all are. Hopefully we can all treat him to a happy father’s day, this weekend!

uncategorized family  Milestones (and Friday links)

uncategorized family  Milestones (and Friday links)

Also, Hudson had his last day of his first year of preschool yesterday! He’s grown up so much since that first day, almost a year ago, when I found myself blubbering through a goodbye to a teacher (she hugged me while he gleefully ran for the trikes). It’s really incredible.

What are your plans for the weekend? We’re playing catch-up after being away for a week in the Pacific Northwest. I’m blogging about our #GreatCoastRoadTrip on the Coast Hotel blog, but you may have caught some of that on Instagram as well.

In the meantime, here are a few other items of note…

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P.S. I Made This

COMMENTS: 1

uncategorized family  P.S. I Made This
uncategorized family  P.S. I Made This

With Hudson out of school and a need to come up with some fun activities for us to do together, I agreed to participate in a crafting challenge—thrown by P.S. I Made This (the queen of DIY) and Old Navy. Let’s just say, this sort of thing is not my forté.

When the materials arrived, I found myself staring at a box of bright paint and colorful cotton, picturing myself handing over those bottles of tie-dye and a stack of fabric markers to my two year old, in a bit of a panic.

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Visiting DisneyWorld (with a toddler)

COMMENTS: 30

travel family  Visiting DisneyWorld (with a toddler)
travel family  Visiting DisneyWorld (with a toddler)
travel family  Visiting DisneyWorld (with a toddler)

Curious what it’s like to visit DisneyWorld with two under three? We just spent a week exploring the resort parks in Orlando over the course of a five-day-hopper pass with Skyler (3 months), Hudson (almost 3 years), and my parents; Aron joined us most days after wrapping up at a conference. Here are some photos from our family vacation—along with some notes and tips I gleaned during our stay.

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

COMMENTS: 10

style family  Fathers Day Gift Guide
He’ll no doubt love anything his kids make for him, most of all. That mis-shapen clay cup with a precarious handle, that memorable hand-drawn card where everyone has necks like giraffes…

But here are some ideas for a little something extra for dad, if you’re on the hunt.

  1. Time for some flattering, on-trend swim trunks! Two great options with a 6-1/2-inch inseam, from Venroy and JCrew.
  2. Help him channel his inner boy scout (or, better yet, his inner Bear Grylls). Just don’t let him forget to check his Card Toolstyle family  Fathers Day Gift Guide before going through the TSA line.
  3. Tea. Only this tea is Crafted for Cocktails. Would be so delicious with whiskey.
  4. Truly quality men’s shoes can be so expensive. These aren’t cheap, but they’re a relative bargain.
  5. A good non-fiction read. Aron is intrigued by Trees in Paradise: A California Historystyle family  Fathers Day Gift Guide  after hearing about it on KQED. And when we were in New York, he couldn’t stop talking about The Big Oysterstyle family  Fathers Day Gift Guide .
  6. Not ready to spend $10K on a solid gold iPhone case? Me, neither. This aluminum one seems like a smart alternative: minimal, attractive, and hard as all-get-out.
  7. Some potty humor for adult hours: Cards Against Humanitystyle family  Fathers Day Gift Guide .
  8. The most handsome live-edge cutting board.
  9. So many dads have bad backs (Aron hurt his again!). Lumo Back—and the forthcoming Lumo Lift—look intriguing.
  10. I’m a big fan of toys as gifts for grown men. Most of the guys I know already buy themselves the things they need, so why not get something fun? I stand by the helicopter recommendation, but this might be the year for a remote-controlled boat. This racing boatstyle family  Fathers Day Gift Guide  is recommended as a good entry-level (read: budget) option for the open seas, but I’d consider this onestyle family  Fathers Day Gift Guide  (or this sailboatstyle family  Fathers Day Gift Guide ) for the home pool (or Central Park).

And photo gifts are always a good idea. I like this and this from Pinhole Press. They’re offering 15% off through Father’s Day, with the code Hither15.

Finally, don’t forget to plan something fun to do together!

P.S. Last year’s gift guide. And more past inspiration.

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A Photo Gift for Father’s Day

COMMENTS: 4

family  A Photo Gift for Fathers Day

family  A Photo Gift for Fathers Day

I’ve talked before about how much I love the little accordion brag books from Pinhole Press. (This was the third year we’ve made them at Mother’s Day!)

Now they offer a leather brag book that would make a wonderful present for dad to keep out on his desk or take along on a business trip—or for the grandfather who can’t be bothered with those pesky smartphones.  And good news: readers can get 15% off through Father’s Day with the code Hither15 at Pinhole Press.

family  A Photo Gift for Fathers Day

When I was younger, I would often make little photo books as gifts for my parents—there’s one particularly blurry (but heartfelt) anniversary album that’s still usually out at their house, something I made with our first color scanner (a relic). It took me about a million years to collect the photos, scan them, and assemble them.

Not much has changed: I still like the idea of making something personal when it comes to gifts for mom and dad. Only now, in much less time—and with much clearer images.

What did you used to do for your dad at Father’s Day when you were a kid?

family  A Photo Gift for Fathers Day

family  A Photo Gift for Fathers Day

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions expressed are my own. Pinhole Press has been a longtime favorite of ours (for kids, too). Get 15% off through Father’s Day (June 15) with the code Hither15. Order by June 4th with economy shipping for Father’s Day Delivery. 

[Pictured with: Club Monaco Men's Carry-All (similarfamily  A Photo Gift for Fathers Day ); BillyKirk Dopp Kit; Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarer Sunglassesfamily  A Photo Gift for Fathers Day ; Tie by JCrew; Zara Shirt]

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