Meetup Groups for Fathers! (September, 2016)

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

For more baby related news and information, please review        
my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!
With our daughter in the Arboretum, May, 2016.
Meetup Groups for Fathers!

I wanted to let everyone know that several Dad groups have been established across the United States! New dads and experienced fathers can join and meet up for playgroups in these cities.

Here is a list of the Dad groups:
Boston, MA:
New York City, NY:
Philadelphia, PA:
Chicago, IL:
Indianapolis, IN:
Detroit, MI:
Twin Cities, MN:
St. Louis, MO: 
In the Arboretum, May 2016.
Cleveland, OH:
Columbus, OH:
Miami, FL:
Atlanta, GA:
Charlotte, NC:
Austin, TX:
Dallas, TX:
Fresno, CA:
Los Angeles, CA:
San Diego, CA:
San Francisco, CA:
Denver, CO:
Albuquerque, NM:
Las Vegas, NV:
Portland, OR:
Madison, WI: 

For local groups looking for ideas, here are some of the Boston Dads' past playgroup meetups: New England Aquarium (which also has the Sea Squirts program), Museum of Fine Arts MFA Play dates and Boston Children's Museum.
+ Sea Squirts program:

+ Boston Children's Museum:

+ MFA Play dates:
In the Arboretum, May 2016.

These groups are a convenient way to meet and socialize with other Dads who enjoy spending quality time with their children!

Have fun everyone! :)

- Joy E.
Posted September 6, 2016


Also, here are a few interesting Dad-related articles:

'Dad bloggers are redefining 'real men' (also, they provide a list of Dad Blogs)

'How new moms assess their partners' ability to parent' (using data from New Parents Project): 

'Controlling parents harm future mental health':

Our daughter in the Arboretum, May, 2016.

Family Outings and Fun!

Artesani Spray Pool and Wading Pool!

In My Gym class!

Jumping on the trampoline!
On the high bar!
MFA Play dates!

Coloring prior to class, MFA Play dates, 8-15-16.
Playing with microphone during MFA Play dates class, 8-15-16.

Working on my art project, MFA Play dates, 8-15-16.
Fun Family Day!
Lunch at the Four's Restaurant, 8-20-16.
Sipping from my Four's cup with Mommy 8-20-16.
At Singing Beach, Manchester, 8-20-16.
Playing with Daddy at the beach, 8-20-16.
Playing in the boat at Masconomo Park playground, Manchester, 8-20-16.
Down the slide of the tree house, Masconomo Park playground, Manchester, 8-20-16.
Billy Ward Park, Brookline

Having fun at the spray pool at Billy Ward Park, 8-23-16.

Milestones: My Daughter's Early Learning, Part 4 (August, 2016)

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

For more baby related news and information, please review        
 my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!

Milestones: My Daughter's Early Learning, Part 4

This month I continue to repeat my 'Milestones' series with Part 4 to, once again, give new parents ideas about how to play with your 1 year old. In addition, I share with new parents the toys and games I that introduced as part of the 'Milestones' series from 2013.


I knew that at some point I would need to begin focusing on introducing my daughter to lots of different colors in a creative and fun way in hopes that she could enjoy exploring colors beyond just the usual colored markers and finger paint. 
Clothes by Ann Taylor, end of summer 2012

When my daughter was 13 months old, I decided that I needed her to pay closer attention to colors.  As mentioned in my earlier post "Milestones...(Part 1, October 2012)", I bought clothes that were much brighter in color that drew her attention to me and helped her to become more familiar with colors. She really enjoyed seeing me in these bright, happy colors and is familiar with her Mom's wardrobe. She now treats her Mom's wardrobe as a bright spot in our home.

Mommy's bright new wardrobe!
My colorful wardrobe bought in the fall of 2012 and the winter of 2013 included lots of bright colors, including a pair of yellow pants (see picture to the right) converted into Belly-Jeans for comfort.

The outfits were bought from H&M, Ann Taylor, Gap and Old Navy. We had a lot of fun buying these outfits and I was always able to keep my daughter's attention and encourage her to focus on these bright and happy colors!

At 14 months old, I decided to use a different, attractive color nail polish on each finger and on one hand (my left hand) in order to expose my daughter to a different color every time I played with her or picked her up.  She liked the combination seen below of the nail polishes that I arranged.  I decided to keep the nail polishes on for 2 weeks.  This gave her the opportunity to see these colors every day for a good amount of time. In this way, I could always have the same 5 colors on display for her to see all of the time, especially if I was pushing her stroller (baby facing me, she always saw my hands).

I enjoyed creating this arrangement of colors for her.  Here is the list of the colors and brands:
Pinky finger:Red "Red Carpet" by Revlon Colorstay #120
Ring finger:Orange"Congaline" by Confetti #027
Middle finger:Green "My Favorite Martian" by Confetti #007
Index finger:Blue "Mesmerize" by Confetti #170
Thumb:Yellow"Margarita Senorita" by Confetti #008

In addition, at 14 months old, I introduced her to the book
"Colors" by bright baby. I love the richness of the colors and the accuracy of the pictures.  She loves this little book, many times she would sit with this book, holding it open and begin a dialogue of her own.  It was so sweet and adorable to watch her enjoying her Colors book. You can purchase Colors for @$5.00 at any Walmart, here is the link: 

If for some reason this book is sold out at, here it is for @$5.00 w/ FREE SHIPPING!:

My husband showing our daughter her favorite book, 'Colors', 5-20-13

Creative play

I really enjoyed watching my daughter use her toys in a creative way.  In the video below, my daughter enjoys using her stroller toy's flower link as a bracelet. She had been using the flower link in this way for one week before I recorded this video.

            Putting on flower link as bracelet, 11-7-12, 00:01:12

Below is a video of my daughter at 16 months and 2 days old stacking her blocks. She stacks the blocks multiple times, including an attempt to stack a block onto a round-shaped block. I enjoyed observing her use as many blocks as she could to construct her different sized block creations.

                                 Stacking blocks, 12-28-12, 00:01:00

Baby understands!

Below are a few videos of my daughter at 14 months old understanding how to use certain non-toys correctly.  I was very proud to see how far her understanding of the world around her had come since she turned 1 year old. 

             Taking puffs out of the container, 11-19-12, 00:03:00

                       Blowing her nose with a tissue, 11-4-12, 00:00:54

Play and Direction Activity

When my daughter was 15 months old, I created an activity that involved playing a game with the Fisher Price Baby's First Blocks (Pink) (there is also a boy version here-*link*) by using the shapes as glasses on my eyes and having my daughter remove them and place the shapes into the bucket (without the lid on), see the video below.

This was a different use of this toy from what it was originally designed to do, but all toys can be played with in many creative ways - this is just one of those ways. My video below shows myself and my daughter engaging in this activity. 

I came up with this idea one evening when my husband and I were playing with our daughter and I wanted to peek through the small holes in the shapes - I immediately grabbed my camera and recorded the video below. As you will see, this activity turned into a very fun game between us.

You will notice how incredibly happy my daughter is while pulling the shapes from my eyes and putting them back into the container (with the pink lid removed). Here is the link to the Fisher Price Baby's First Blocks (Pink) for @ $19:

 Playing with plastic shapes and bucket, 12-8-12, 00:05:00 

At 15 months old, I introduced the Hape Zoo Animals Block Puzzle  (   I sat with my daughter and set up the giraffe design first (as shown in the picture below) because it had a unique shape once completed.

After the set up, I realized that the best way to have my daughter play with this toy was to have her concentrate on one aspect of the puzzle first. I tapped my finger twice on each corner block of the puzzle: I did this to identify the corner pieces and help her understand how to start the puzzle using the corner pieces first.

My daughter typically reached for a corner block of the giraffe design and would turn over a few of the blocks to view the other sides of them. Watching her explore this puzzle and enjoy the friendly animal characters was a very interesting and delightful experience for both of us.
For a list of the other toys shown in this picture, see my post"Toys for Babies and Children" (October 2012)”:

The Problem with "Clean-Up Time"

I wanted my fellow new moms to know that during  my daughter's play time,       I don't force her to "clean up" her toys (since I do not consider this to be a real activity with my daughter).  I do not believe that "clean up time" is necessary, or educational for my child - it just frustrates her, bores her, causes her to protest and become angry.  I do not want my child to resent play time with me because it would involve "clean up time" - and that the frustration from "clean up time" would affect her level of interest during this exploration phase of her life.

I hope my fellow moms and buddies have enjoyed this latest installment of the 'Milestones' series.  Just as a recap, here is my list of the categories of my activities and ideas shown above:

1. Colors
2. Creative Play
3. Baby Understands!
4. Play and Direction Activity
5. The Problem with "Clean-Up Time"

The final installment of this series ('Milestones, Part 5') will follow along with more of my ideas, activities and pictures.  Have a great time this summer and have fun wearing those bright colors!

Happy play time everyone!

Joy E.
Posted August 10, 2016

Once again, I have included the link to our 2013 family photos in the Arnold Arboretum:
Our family at the MFA's Memorial Day Family Weekend, 5-27-13

* is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.

**Please do not use my articles, photos or videos without permission from me.

Billy Ward Park, Brookline

Children's Museum Visit

My Gym Class!

Baby Safety this Summer: 2016

resource website created for new moms that provides reliable news, information, support and helpful tidbits.

For more baby related news and information, please review        
 my other pages and the news feeds to the right (scroll down).

 This page features my latest article for new moms. Enjoy!
 Baby Safety this Summer: 2016

Once again, summertime is here and, as parents know, there are different safety concerns during these months.  I am re-posting for my buddies the following news articles and links in regard to baby safety issues, food safety and parenting.

 Mayo Clinic Family Health Book: $39.95
Mayo Clinic Family Health Book is your reliable, comprehensive guide to thousands of health concerns. Discover how comforting it is to know you can get reliable health information anytime you need it from a truly authoritative source.

Grandparents flunk baby safety quiz:

Overprotective parents and teachers 'ruining children's play' because of risk-averse lifestyles: Adults are 'over-supervising' and 'over-scheduling' children; Cambridge lecturer says a lack of play stops normal development:

Dry Drowning: Water in the lungs during swimming can cause 'drowning' within 24 hours, see this important article about Dry Drowning:

Water Safety: Time to worry about water safety as summer approaches: Pools, swimming lessons, etc. Swimming can also help people with arthritis.

Sunscreen for Babies and Children:  The Mayo Clinic offers guidelines for sunscreen use on children:

Finger/Toe Tourniquet: Be aware that hair can wrap around your baby's toes and fingers when wearing mittens or socks, cutting off circulation and causing pain to that digit. Here is an article about Toe Tourniquet Syndrome accidents:

Child Safety Warning: Teething Gels May Be Dangerous: Check out the Orajel Lawsuit:
Here is another article regarding the lawsuit against Orajel Teething gels:

Read about how Red Food Dye affects children:

Paint your child's room in one coat:

Senators Call for Closer Look at Flame Retardants:
**Update: June 7, 2016, U.S. Congress approves bill updating chemical safety oversight:

Educational Benefits of Children's Toys:

CCEI recommends child care safety training in support of safe toys and gifts month:

'Snow Plow' Parenting becoming new trend: or try the old link:

Controlling parents harm future mental health:

Our daughter in her NFM t-shirt!

Links on 
For more information and links in regard to baby safety, click on the 'Baby Safety' tab above. Also, for a useful list of baby care tidbits, click on the '*Tidbits*' tab above.

I wanted to inform residents of Massachusetts that all children between the ages of 0 - 3 years old who qualify for the Massachusetts Early Intervention Program will receive services at no charge. The income-based fee was waived in 2013 for every income bracket (the fee was between $0 -$1500 per child based on income!).

Anyone can make an appointment with Early Intervention and they will send a team of professionals to your home to examine your baby or young child for any developmental delays (speech, motor, etc.).  This meeting is at no cost to the family as well. If it is determined that your child needs services, they will send professionals once a week to your home and provide whatever necessary services your child requires.  For more information, here is the link:

If you want to check the Early Intervention services in your state, here is the link:

Also, below are very useful articles for new moms and moms-to-be:
My husband, Frank, feeding our 5-day-old daughter. Yum!

1. During Pregnancy: Let Me Suggest (May 2016):
2. Lost the Weight, but not the Waistline?:

3. The Lack of Sleep and Stress that New Moms Experience: 

4. Toys for Babies and Children:

I hope everyone finds these articles useful this summer as well as the other tabs above.

As for our family news: we are very proud to announce that our sweet baby has graduated from preschool, Class of 2016!  She will head off to a new school for Kindergarten in the fall. Hooray!
My happy daughter playing with her stickers (10 months old).

I hope my friends and adoring buddies enjoy your summertime fun with your families.

Happy summertime everyone!

-Joy E. 
Posted July 6, 2016                                                                         

Preschool Graduation Day!!!

Ready for her big graduation day!

Leaving preschool after graduation!  So happy! 6-20-16.
 After graduation ready to enjoy her cake at home! 6-20-16.
In robin bird suit playing with fur in the Discovery Center, Museum of Science, 6-20-16.
Viewing the African bull frog in the Discovery Center, Museum of Science, 6-20-16.
Getting in space shuttle in the Museum of Science, 6-20-16.
Hanging out at the Nano exhibit in the Museum of Science, 6-20-16.
Playing with the chains in the Museum of Science, 6-20-16.
Playing with the shells in the Museum of Science, 6-20-16.
Playing in the tunnel at My Gym, 6-20-16.
In the ball pit at My Gym, 6-20-16. supports supports
Keep up the great work!!