Drool Baby Expo
I had the opportunity to attend the Drool Baby Expo last week and see how much baby gear has changed since having my 5 year old son. I arrived early knowing from past experience if you really want to be able to take the bigger items for a test drive or spend a significant time talking products with the sales representative you have to get in before it gets to busy. I had a chance to look at most of the tables below are the ones I found noteworthy.
I had a Chameleon stroller 7 years ago when I first had my daughter. I loved the bassinet option and the toddler seat and used the stroller daily until I found out I was expecting a second and sold the stroller while I could get a good return on the second hand market. My biggest issue with the old Chameleon was when I pulled the stroller up the stairs the handle bar would pull out to its tallest high an issue that has now been fixed on the newer models. The Chameleon retails for $1,149. The Bugaboo stroller that I was most interested in was the Runner which starts at $815. It pushes like a dream while running with it (yes I ran between the tables at the expo at 25 weeks pregnant). The fixed wheel was not an issue for maneuverability. The seat can face out or you (the only jogging stroller I know of that you can run with while the child is facing you) and has three seat recline levels. I has a full handle bar length handbrake plus a wheel break. The handle bar has three different high adjustments. I would highly recommend the Bugaboo Runner if you are looking for a serious running stroller. Bugaboo also makes the Bee a more compact stroller starting at $739, the Buffalo an all terrain stroller starting at $1239 and the Donkey their single to double stroller which starts at $1,329.
I got to try out the new Nuna Pipa Lite which when empty without base only weighs 5.3lbs; which is really light. The seat accommodates an infant from 4-32lbs and retails for $349.95.
I love their Tripp Trapp chair which can be used with accessories from birth through adulthood: I have been known to sit in ours and my parents still have the ones from when I was a kid. The basic Tripp Trapp chair retails for $249. The Stokke product that I fell in love with was the Sleepi Mini which is an oval bassinet that can be converted into a crib, toddler bed and then a bed with available conversion sets. The Mini Sleepi starts at $599.
The really like my pre Britax BOB Revolution so much I bought an infant car seat that I can use with it this time around. That being said the newer BOB strollers are not as good quality. Both my 5 and almost 7 year old ride still harnesses in Frontier 90 seats that have Clicktight (a panel that closes down on the belt or latch for tight installation) which makes installation a breeze so I took a look at the convertible car seats now available with Click Tight (Marathon, Advocate and Boulevard).
Silver Cross is new to the US market but has been in the UK for a long time and is known for its pram. Only one stroller is available in the US it is called the Wave. The Wave can go from a single stroller to a double (with an add on seat). For $1,299 you get the chassis, carrycot, seat, rain covers, mosquito nets, cup holders, adapters and it accommodates Maxi-Cosi Mico AP, Mico 30, Mico Max 30, the Nuna Pipa and Cybex Aton, Aton 2, Aton Q no adapters necessary.
The Thule Urban Glide jogging stroller was not available/made 7 years ago when I got my BOB but it is definitely a BOB competitor now. If I didn’t already have a jogging stroller I would definitely consider it. The Urban Glide has a swivel wheel that can be locked and set precisely straight with a knob, it has an almost flat recline, folds compactly, one hand fold, adjustable handle car, pushes smoothly and you can get a universal carseat adapter for it. New the stroller costs $399.95.
Love to Dream:
Love to Dream has a swaddle sack like nothing I have seen before. Instead of the babies arms being hugged to their sides the hands are snuggled up by their heads since that is how babies like to be. The swaddle sack is recommended from 0-4 months and costs around $30. Then there is the transition sack that allows for a slow transition with zip off “sleeves” $35. They also make sleep sacks.
Greentom is the greenest stroller available and the stroller frames are plastic. The plastic frames make the strollers light and have a natural suspension. Greentom makes two strollers one with a carrycot and reversible seat and the Classic. Both strollers come with 10 different colors for fabric choices. You can get both the classic stroller and carrycot/reversible stroller (two chassis, forward facing seat, carry cot, and bassinet) called the Greentom 3-in-1 for $699.
Magic Beans Popup shop:
In the Magic Beans Popup shop you could order all the wonderful products I wrote about above, the thousands of other products displayed at Drool and buy lots of products Magic Beans carries all at a discount!
There were also lots of other companies there plus businesses that offer services like baby pictures. The Drool VIP ticket also included a deluxe gift bag! In my bag was a $25 gift certificate to Magic Beans which I look forward to using, Smarty Pant Women's Vitamin 120 count, Premama Digestive Aid, Chews, Vanilla Caramel Flavored - 28 chews, lotion and potion samples, 3 pack of NUK baby bottles, Lollaland glass baby bottle, Chicco Naturalfit baby bottle, Diono Buggy Tech Tote, Nixi Snack Bags 3 pack, Babyganics Eczema care 3 oz, Waterwipes 60 count, Skip Hop Wet/dry bag, Green Sprouts Wood Cage Rattle and two baby hats.
Have you been to a Drool Expo? What baby products should I checkout?
Can Montessori Be a Way of Life, Even at Home?
by Sandra Nickerson
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher [or parent] is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’” ~ Maria Montessori
When parents visit our school, one of the many things they observe is children as young as 3 years old independently choosing a work, doing the work, and finally, returning the work to its rightful place on the shelf, prepared for the next child who might choose it.
Astonished, parents ask, “How do you get them to do that? I cannot imagine my child doing that at home!”
Our teachers respond, “We prepare work that excites, challenges and allows a student to feel successful. Our expectation is that every member of a classroom contributes something positive to the environment. This, of course, includes working together to take care of our classroom.”
At the risk of sounding… well, old, I recently realized my parents were better Montessori parents than I was with my own children. I am not sure when my daily home responsibilities started, but I can say they were well in place by the time I was in third grade and my sister was in first. Every evening, we cleared the table after dinner, washed, dried, and put away the dishes. My mother would leave the kitchen after dinner, lay on the couch, and read the paper. Of course my sister and I spent countless hours complaining to one another about how unfair that was, and how lazy our mom was for making us clean up after her family. Despite our commiseration, my sister and I clearly understood that the job was ours, plain and simple. My mom had made her expectations known for how the job should be done, and she often inspected our finished work to see if we met these clear expectations. There were two constants: we had to do the job, and we had to do the job right.
The process, well, that was up to my sister and me. I remember sometimes we were very efficient and got the job done quickly. There are other vivid memories of arguing about who would wash and who would dry. There were the philosophical concepts to be wrestled with, like why my brother did not have to do dishes. We were sure that his lawn-mowing job was more exciting and easier. Sometimes we turned the whole watery affair into a game. In any case, my mom never interfered. If we took two hours to do the dishes, that was our problem and not hers.
Sometimes, these long sessions meant not going outside to play or not being able to watch TV because there was homework still to do. These were the “natural consequences” of our inefficient ways. I must add that even while looking at our tear-stained faces and listening to our rants of injustice, my mother never felt sorry for us or guilty that she somehow had caused our harsh predicament. I believe now that she thought she was preparing us to make independent, responsible choices.
I became a parent in 1980, and my wish for my daughter was simple. I wanted her to be happy. What I did not realize then was that the subtext of that wish was appointing myself responsible for her happiness. I wanted my daughter to feel free to express herself and discover herself without the confines of others’ expectations. My daughter was going to know and feel her uniqueness. While my daughter was busy expressing and discovering herself, I was busy doing the manual tasks around the house. I did ask her to help, and she sullenly obliged, but we had no routine. She did not feel the responsibility of having to do something each day that was really hers, no matter what. And then there were the negotiations, “Do I haaaave to? I have soooo much homework…. I canNOT miss dance class… this is my ONLY time to be with Addie.” Often I would buckle under her woeful cries. Why? My self-appointed job was to be responsible for her happiness. After all, her completed homework, her dance successes, and her meaningful friendships were certainly more important than clean dishes.
Today, children engage in multiple activities and keep a schedule that exhausts me even to hear about. I wonder if we are even getting enough rest, let alone getting the time to think about instilling independent responsibilities. Parents are striving to provide their children every opportunity to become successful in life. While diligently providing a rich and nourishing childhood, can parents also create space for a child to take on responsibilities at home that contribute to the care of his whole family? Although knowledge is critical and experience inspiring, I believe that a child taking full responsibility for and ownership of a job is essential.
Have I let my own children down by not having assigned each a job that benefited our whole family, by not having clearly defined the parameters of that job, by not having let them struggle, fight, laugh, argue over what a complete job looks like, by not having afforded them the feeling of doing a job completely and well? Yes, I think I have. So in answer to this frequently asked parent question, “How do I bring Montessori into our home?” My advice is this: assign your child a regularly scheduled household job that everyone in your home needs done, one your child can complete on his own, one she can do successfully, one that might slow him down a bit. Once you teach her how to do the job, walk away. Keep your expectations clear and stand unwavering in the face of multiple pleas for exemption. In the end, your children will thank you.
In the end, I do thank my mom for the dishwashing job and my dad for the Saturday morning trash bin emptying job. You see, they knew I could do those tasks, and they believed that I should recognize the satisfaction of a job done well.
Sandra Nickerson, Head of School and Elementary II Art Teacher at Bridgeview Montessori School has been on the faculty since the school’s inception in 2000.
WALDORF SCHOOL ANNOUNCES NEW COMMUNITY AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Starting on September 18th, the Waldorf School in Cotuit, is offering a new after school program that is open to all elementary and middle school students on Cape Cod including home school students. Until now, only students that attend the Waldorf School have had the opportunity to learn the unique skills Waldorf Education has to offer. This school year all students in the local community are invited to participate.
The program is offered in 5-7 week long sessions and the classes are 2 hours long on weekdays from 3:15 pm - 5:15 pm. Class offerings in the Fall I session include Waldorf Handwork, Studio Art, Cooking, and Community Service. More classes will be added throughout the year with offerings for grades 1 - 8.
The Waldorf School of Cape Cod is celebrating its 33rd year on Cape Cod. The school started
as a small one room private school in Woods Hole. The founding parents envisioned a school
that would nourish the developing child during the important years of early childhood and
support their growth through the elementary and middle school years. Through parent initiatives
and community commitment, the school has grown from that one room school to the fully
established and accredited school it is today.
For more information about the Waldorf School’s Community After -School Program visit
www.waldorfschoolofcapecod.org/after-school or call the school at 508-420-1005
Local mom to a 4 yo boy. Wife to a pretty cool guy. Woman who sometimes likes to do adult things.
Ovo - the latest show from the Québécois aerialist and circus troupe, Cirque de Soleil, is a wholesome and magical night out for dreamers big or small.
The Agganis Arena was very easy to access and had convenient parking underneath the auditorium – perfect for the rainy day we chose to go to Boston! Once inside, we found the atmosphere to be clean and comfortable; the seats were even padded and upholstered! The aisle lighting was maintained throughout the entire event but it was in no way distracting. Making our way to our seats, we felt like we had gone deep into a forest as a damp, cool air filled the auditorium, mist crawled across the stage and bugs chirped making for pleasant background noise.
The venue capacity of 7200 people created a more intimate setting and allowed for greater interaction of the audience with the performers. You didn’t even realize the show had started as characters appear in the aisles and interacted with the patrons. This interaction was maintained throughout the show. A word of caution – don’t get floor seats if you don’t want to go on stage!
The costumes were elaborate and even more vibrant in person than in the advertisements. Not only did the cast put on the performance they also did the set changes. This made the transitions from act to act more seamless.
Although there is no distinguishable dialogue during the show, the story line in Ovo (egg) was easily identifiable: a group of bugs and forest creatures relish a prized egg. In between scenes, a subplot between several bugs wooing a ladybug provided much comic relief. Having been to several other Cirque shows this was most kid-friendly. The show had a bit of everything my son is currently into – bugs, slapstick humor and death defying feats! The show did contain some innuendo; something to keep in mind if bringing little ones – a slight PG rating for a portion of the show.
Each performance was unique while adhering to the overall theme “Ovo”. The contortion, high flying, death defying stunts often left the audience with white knuckles and their jaws on the floor. During one incredible stunt where a woman holds onto a man’s hand while spinning from 50’ above the stage, we couldn’t help but murmur to each other that there’s no one we trust enough in the world to do that! From a human body folded over a head balancing on a spike, to a unicycle on a tightrope, to jumps from a rock wall onto a trampoline, the performances were amazing.
We went in for a grown-up night out and left wishing we had brought our kids. We can’t wait to go back and share the incredible talents of these performers with our children. This show truly solidifies the lesson we’re trying to teach our kids daily - that with hard work and focus, your body is capable of amazing things!
My summer flew by and I had little opportunity to Blog. I spent most of my summer with my kids in Orleans taking part in the Rec swim lessons at the lake, going to library programs, spending time at the beach, crafting and doing summer reading. Now it is back to school for the kids; my daughter started first grade today and my son starts junior kindergarten on Thursday. It will take me most of September to organize and put the house back together again but with both kids in school I will have time. I am looking forward to going to The Drool Baby Expo next week! So look for my Blog posts in the next few weeks about Drool and organizing tips and progress. Also please use my code MHUBNER5 for $5 off your ticket to Drool Baby Expo!
How was your summer? What do you plan to do now the kids are back in school?
Welcome to our newest advertiser: Waldorf School of Cape Cod!
A School Created by Parents
If you could imagine a school full of wonder, life, and engaged students who love to learn, what would that look like? In 1984, a small group of parents asked themselves this question. The school they created is known today as the Waldorf School of Cape Cod.
The Waldorf School started as a small one room private school in Woods Hole. The founding parents envisioned a school that would nourish the developing child during the important years of early childhood and support their growth through the elementary and middle school years. Through parent initiatives and community commitment, the school has grown from that one room school to the fully established and accredited school it is today.
The Waldorf School of Cape Cod is now located in the quaint seaside village of Cotuit on 13.5 acres of beautiful woodlands within walking distance of Cotuit harbor. The school building is the former location of Cotuit Elementary School. The woods and school grounds provide the best playspace that nature has to offer and we take full advantage of this gift. Our students spend much of their time outdoors and in our outdoor classroom, the school Sunhouse.
The goal of the Waldorf School of Cape Cod is to provide an education that will produce well-rounded individuals who are able to think critically and creatively. This inspires our unique approach to education. Lessons are brought to students in a multi-sensory way and usually include movement, especially in the younger grades. This approach allows our faculty to reach students with many different learning styles.
When you walk through the halls at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod, you can’t help but feel the positive energy and sense of community everyone shares. Who wouldn’t want this wonderful experience for their child? We invite you to come and visit us for a tour and learn more about our school. Enrollment is open and there is space available in select grades. Call 508-420-1005 or email Outreach@waldorfcapecod.org to make an appointment.
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