Monday, April 11, 2011

Point to Happy : A Book for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

It's Autism awareness month and baystateparent
received Point to Happy A book for Kids
on the Autism Spectrum  (Workman, 2011, $19.95 )
in our office. 

This book is really well done with bright, clear photographs. It's a one-of-kind design specifically for children
on the autism spectrum.  A soft pointer is included so that kids can practice motor tasks of holding and pointing. The child can choose
different foods, recognize colors, interpret everyday tasks and 
point to a feeling or emotion as the parent reads. 

We only have one copy to share with a reader, and we know autism affects so many of you. 
But if you'd like the copy, please comment here and we'll mail it to you. 

We also send you our love and support as you navigate parenthood. 
Point to Happy by Miriam Smith and Afron Fraser/March 2011


Monday, April 4, 2011

Win a Tiny Tag Gold-Filled Initial Necklace

Happy Monday Everyone!

Have you been wanting one of these
initial necklaces to carry your child's initial close to your heart?

Win a 14K gold-filled initial necklace ($85 value)
from Tiny Tag Designs.

How? All you have to do is comment beneath
this BLOG post (please do not comment
on Facebook). Any 'ole comment will do!
If you don't win (or would like to order a tag and necklace for yourself or for a gift), Tiny Tag Designs offers bsp readers 20% till 5/1 with promo code 'baystate.'

Melissa Clayton,
Owner, Tiny Tag Designs
FROM MELISSA: Tiny Tag Designs is my sweet jewelry company where I hand stamp children's names or affirmations on sterling silver tags.   Moms love wearing their kiddie’s names and Grandmas love showing off their grandchild with a bracelet with all her grandchildren's names.  My new line for little girls includes adorable initial necklaces made for 3 to 13 year olds.  I hope you like what you see!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome Readers

4+ Ways to Be a Part of bsp's 
  May HOME issue: 

1. Email us photos of something "cool" in your home for our May reader photo page "Captured." Do you have a  nice mural, unique piece of furniture/artwork, beautiful nursery, fun play room...? Show us something  unique, special, pretty, inspiring, etc. in your home. What's the most unique thing in your kitchen? It can be a corner of your room, a photo of an entire room, whatever... Please email photos to by Friday, April 8th.

2.  Tell us about  your child's Playhouse/Fort. We're looking to photograph some outdoor
play houses. Send us a photo if you can and tell us about it by Friday, April 8th. Include
your name, phone and town please!

3.  Tell us about something you or your child collects. baystateparent is thinking of something sentimental,
whimsical, etc. as we'd like to tell the stories behind your collection and how it is displayed in your home. Please email us by Friday, April 8th. Include your name, phone and town please!

4. Lastly, tell us about a HOME EXPERT you love. baystateparent is inviting four professionals to share their tips in our May HOME issue. Please introduce us to a decorator, designer, realtor, contractor, organizer, colorist, etc. Please include their contact information and town. This will involve getting a photo of the person and doing an email Q & A. Tell us soon! Nominations taken by Tuesday, April 5th.

Also, our sales team has many fun opportunities for this issue so if you know a mompreneur tell her to contact Stephanie Pearl as soon as possible: 774-364-0296 or We have a whole section planned dedicated to moms who have their own businesses. It's a perfect price point for an entrepreneurial mom!

As always, we have our Show & Tell feature. You send us your product, and we tell 100,000 people about in a beautiful layout with all the information.

Looking forward to MAY! Questions? Email Carrie Wattu, editor:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April 1 - 3 Family Fun Massachusetts

Egg hunts, tag sales, Barney and more. Check out what's going on this weekend for families around the Bay State. Have fun! bsp

Friday, 1
FREE Tot Shabbat Service. Framingham. 6:30 p.m. For preschool-aged children and their families.
Siblings welcome.

Singin' in the Rain. Watertown Children's Theatre. Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal
Center for the Arts, Watertown. 7 p .m. Actors in grades 4 - 8 bring the silver screen classic
to life on stage. $12pp.  Also April 2, 2 & 7 p.m. and April 3, 2 p.m.

Saturday, 2
NanoScience with Brandeis University. The Discovery Museums, Acton. Drop in from 1 - 4 p.m.
to the Science Discovery. $10.50pp.

Dayglow. Mullins Center, Amherst. 8 p.m. World's largest paint patry is a theatrical show
with music, art, dance and neon paint. $33.

FREE Families Connect Workshop. Boston Center for the Arts. Mills Gallery, 551 Tremont St.,
Boston. 1 - 3:30 p.m. Repeats at 3 - 4:30 p.m. Fun, interactive workshops.

Big Apple Circus Dance On! City Hall Plaza, Boston. Opens April 2 and continues through Sun.., May 15.

Giant Anteater Exhibit. Franklin Park Zoo, Boston. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Free with zoo admission.

Ukranian Easter Egg Decorating Workshop. Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton. 8:30 a.m. - Noon.

Go Green Recycling Event. Saint Michael School,  Hudson. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bring old electronics or applicances! $20 fee for larger items and pick-ups. Most smaller items, FREE.
978-562-2917 or email

West Suburban Chapter of the MA Mothers of Twins' Spring Tag Sale. Congregational Church of
Needham, 1154 Great Plain Ave., Needham. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Over 20,000 items for sale at super low prices, including gently used children’s clothing, strollers, baby equipment, cribs, toys, books, DVDs, & more!  Cash only. $1 entry for adults over 14. For more information, visit
Teddy Bear Tea. Chandlers Restaurant at the Yankee Candle Flagship Store, South Deerfield. 11 a.m. 
A$10, C$8.

FREE Open Studios. Western Avenue Studios, Lowell. 12 - 5 p.m. On the first Saturday of every month.

FREE Adventures around the World. Lakeshore Learning Store, Newton and Saugus. Drop in between
11 a.m. - 3 p .m. Ages 3+. Explore cultures around the globe and create cool crafts and play fun-filled games.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary, Norton. 12 - 3 p.m. A$7, Sr. $7, C$7. Also April 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23.

Weekend Festival: Sensational India. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $8.50pp. 

 Barney Live in Concert - Birthday Bash! Salem Civic Center. 10:30 a.m., 2 & 5:30 p.m.

Singin in the Rain. Watertown.

FREE WARL Kitten Shower. Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL), 139 Holden Street, Worceser.
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Just like a baby shower, there may not be any kittens present on this day, but WARL needs
supplies. Refreshments, bake and plant sale.

Sunday, 3
The Alphabet Rockers. Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Educational hip-hop show for ages 3+.

Bioluminescent Animals. Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge. 2 p.m. A$9, C$6. 

FREE Thoreau Club's 60th Birthday Bash. The Thoreau Club, Concord. 1 - 3 p.m. Animal fun, magic,
crafting, story time, kids' tennis, cupcake decorating and more!

Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary, Norton. 12 - 3 p.m. A$7, Sr. $7, C$7. Also April 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23.

Weekend Festival: Sensational India. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $8.50pp.

Singin in the Rain. Watertown.

Looking for Survey Questions for our New Web site (coming soon)

baystateparents, I am looking for some survey questions to include in our new
Online poll for our upcoming revamped Web site (details about this exciting new
bsp development coming soon...working hard on it right now.)
What is something you would really like to know about other parents in Massachusetts?
The poll will be completely anonymous and just a very quick click to vote.
No sign-ups required, and you see results instantly about where other parents fall on the pie chart.
Poll questions can be about issues in our state, fun "just curious questions," etc.
Tell us: what would be really interesting to know?
A random brainstorm follows my signature. Of course, we'll think of questions relating to articles
and issues that come up in the magazine and on the news as well as local questions about
parenting in Massachusetts.
Please add some ideas here or on Facebook. Search

When no one is looking, I....

throw the kids' toys away
take a sip from the sippie cup

I shouldn't admit this, but I often let my kids...
ride their bikes without their helmets.
eat sugar cereal for breakfast.
not use their booster seats in the car.
none of the above

I can honestly say I have never...

sniffed my child's diaper
tasted breastmilk
spanked my child

If there were a summer camp for moms, I would want to...

be alone most of the time, reading and relaxing
learn how to do something new
go with my friends and have lots of "girl" time

If I had to pick a favorite household chore, it would be...

I wish other parents would just admit that they...

The biggest challenge my family faces....

My family has too many...
stuffed animals

My biggest pet peeve is...
stuffed animals

The one thing I can't get a handle on in our home is
toy control
all of the above

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sat. March 26 and Sun. March 27 Family Fun in Massachusetts

What's everyone doing this weekend with the "fam"? Here are some ideas...
Saturday 26
Debbie & Friends Special DVD Release Concert. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. A$10, C$8.

Book, Video, Audio Sale. Fountain of Blessing Ministry at People's Church
56 S. Main St., Ashburnham. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Thousand of books, videos, CDs and more for sale to benefit local food pantries. .25 each or $2 a bag. 978-297-1894,

Gardening Book Swap. Tower Hill Botanic Garden,  11 French Dr., Boylston. 1 – 4 p .m. Bring your gardening books and journals in good condition and choose a few new ones you can use. Admission fees apply:

For Parents Puppet Slam. The Puppet Showplace Theatre, Brookline. 8 p.m. Your opportunity to witness some of the most out-there, wild, and wildly creative puppetry for adults and teenage audiences anywhere. An amazing artistic achievements plus there are cookies and brownies! $15 general admission; $13 St.  617-731-6400,

30th Annual Duxbury Spring Antique Show. Duxbury High School. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Features 50 quality dealers sponsored by the Duxbury Boosters with all proceeds to go to Duxbury High School athletics. Home baked goods table. Luncheon available. A$7. Also Sun., March 27, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Grafton Fine Arts and Music Festival. Grafton Municipal Center
30 Providence Rd., Grafton. Friday, 7 – 9 p.m plus artists reception & awards on Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; performances & exhibits on Sunday, 12 - 4 p.m. Hundreds of pieces of art  judged by a prestigious panel of judges on display. Children's art activities and artist demonstartions. A$3, C (ages 5+) $ 

Maynard Family Association’s Kid Gear Tag Sale. Boys and Girls Club
212 Great Rd., Maynard. 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.  Done with all the baby clothes?  Or maybe it’s time to weed through your children’s books and toys.  Are you looking for some sports equipment for your ever-growing little one? Come shop or sell your goods. Spots are $20NM. To reserve a spot, contact Alannah Gustavson at or visit

FREE Crafts for Kids. Lakeshore Learning Crafts, Newton and Saugus. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Held every Saturday for kids ages 3 and up.

Magnet Play. Providence Children's Museum, 100 South St.,Providence, RI. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Kids investigate the playful power of magnetism by experimenting and sculpting with a marvelous array of magnets.  Ages 3 – 11. $8.50pp. 401-273-5437, Also March 27.

101 Dalmatians.  Apple Tree Arts at Southgate Retirement Home, 30 Julio Dr., Shrewsbury. Fri. March 25 and Sat. March 26 at 7 p.m. Also Sun. March 27 at 2 p.m.
Featuring young students from grades two to five. A$8, Sr.$5, C $5, C under 4, FREE. 508-839-4286,

Sunday 27

Rube Goldberg Design Challenge with Olin College! The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Drop-in 1 to 4 p.m. Science Discovery
Can you engineer and build a complex machine to plant and water a seed? The Olin College Engineering Discovery team thinks you can!  Join them to design and test a multi-step fun/silly solution! Also discover how the properties of sand, soil, and water behave in surprising and unexpected ways when they are at the nano scale during this NanoDays program.
$10.50pp.  978-264-4200,

Talking about Words and Pictures with Mo Willems. Eric Carle Picture Book Art Museum, Amherst. 11:30 a.m.  Join The Carle’s bookseller, blogger, and book-lover, Andy Laties as he engages picture book artists and authors in conversation about their beginnings and their books.

Grafton Fine Arts and Music Festival. Grafton Municipal Center
30 Providence Rd., Grafton. See  March 27 for details.

FREE Family Music Makers Jam! Little Bits Toys, 21 Main St. Natick. 3 p.m. Sing, dance and play instruments with Miss Carrie from Family Music Makers! Enjoy an engaging hour of hands-on musical activities designed to delight the whole family! 781-235-3210,

101 Dalmatians.  Shrewsbury. See March 27  listing for details.

Family Fun Day. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 1 – 4:30 p.m. All ages. Explore the many amazing works of art on view in the newly reopened “Art Since the Mid-20th Century” Galleries. Art-making activities, games, performances from the Worcester Children's Chorus and much more! C under 17 FREE.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Have you Signed Up a Grandparent Today? New Grandparenting Class at Isis Parenting Massachusettss

What a fun (and helpful) way to involve a grandparent-to-be in your pregnancy! Love the idea of having grandparents take a class because we all know that sometimes information sounds better coming from someone other than us when it comes to parenting. Don't you think?  Plus, often a first-time grandparent-to-be is so excited for the baby to come, it will be a fun way to get in on the action.
Carrie, baystateparent


Greater Boston’s Premier Parent Education Centers Expands Class Offerings
with a Class for “Grandparents Today”

NEEDHAM, MA, MARCH 22, 2011 – Isis Parenting announces the launch of their first class designed exclusively for new grandparents. With dozens of class offerings from Childbirth Education, Breastfeeding Support, Early Parenting Groups and Child Development Programs, Isis Parenting is pleased to be able to offer their educational expertise to this important group of extended family -- grandparents. 

“Grandparents Today” will be the first Isis Parenting class focused on this important life change and the information, attitudes and parenting decisions that continue to evolve with each generation. “Through discussion with mothers and fathers in our Early Parenting classes, we’ve found a large demand for an information-based class for the new grandparents of 2011. A lot has changed in terms of research findings and recommendations. While honoring their special role as grandparents and respecting their parenting experience, we created this class to provide the updated information to help them best support their children and grandchildren,” says Early Parenting Program Lead, Marena Burnett.

I can imagine grandparents feeling very overwhelmed, particularly since they were raised (and raised us) before the 'explosion' of the baby industry,” an Isis Parenting client expresses her thoughts after her parents and in-laws first saw the enormous market of baby products available as they prepared for the arrival of their first grandchild. The purpose of “Grandparents Today” is to make this transition easier for new parents and grandparents. From bedside co-sleepers, Miracle Blankets and travel systems, to concerns over vaccinations, reflux and food allergies, today’s parents have dozens of new products and “rules” that barely existed 30 years ago.  Back to sleep? Tummy time? Car seat inspections? There are so many changes to keep up with that grandparents are sure to feel better informed after taking this class.
The class will review current research and advice related to infant safety, feeding, sleep and essential baby gear. The class will also explore common issues like communication, boundaries and mutual respect, and how to best offer help and support from near and afar.

“Grandparents Today” will launch in April, with classes scheduled and open for registration now in all five Isis Parenting centers. The registration fee ($49.00) covers one grandparent. A second grandparent may attend at half-price. To register, visit or call 781-429-1500.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wednesday, March 23: Massachusetts Fun for Kids

Plan your day tomorrow, Wednesday, March 23rd. Choose from puppet shows, story times, nature walks and more!

MAYNARD: Noon. Story Time with Private David Ferguson at Jam Time, a new indoor playground in Maynard.  Meet Private David Ferguson from the Army National Guard as he reads a story in his military attire and talks about serving our country. $10.

WINCHESTER: 3:45 p.m. Ballet and Books for dancers and story lovers will be held at the Winchester Library. David Ira Rottenberg will read his new picture book, Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig, while members of the Ballet Arts Centre of Winchester perform a mime/dance of the story and provide a mini-dance lesson. Mr. Rottenberg will also sign copies of his book. FREE 781-721-7171,

Also listed in our print calendar for Wednesday, March 23rd: 

Dr. Doohickey's Monster Machine by Brad Shur. Puppet Showplace Theatre, Brookline. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. Ages 4+. Hand and rod  puppets!  Tickets usually $10pp.

Take A Walk Winter Outdoor Activity. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. Through March 31st. Mon. - Fri., 10 a.m - 3 p.m.; Sat., 12 to 3 p.m. With activity backpacks (appropriate for ages 3-9) children and accompanying adults explore the 45-acre estate and farm. $5 rental per backpack. Snowshoes also available in adult and child sizes, rental $5. Complimentary hot cocoa served. $5 per snowshoes rental or backpack. 781-894-2798,

Wednesday, March 23, 7 p.m.
Founder of Boston Baby Nurses and author of the newly released, The Baby Nurse Bible, Carole Kramer Arsenault, RN, IBCLC is coming to Magic Beans, Brookline, to share her extensive knoweldge with new and expecting parents. Her Baby Basics talk will cover all the basics new parents need to know about newborn babies and baby care. She'll cover a wide range of topics including setting up routines, developmental milestones, creating time for you as a mother, how new dad's can help nursing tips, and more. She will give an hour long presentation and accept Q&A.
Her new book will be available for purchase and Magic Beans is raffling off a Mobywrap gift package!

Carole is featured in baystateparent's March baby issue:

Harvard COOP Poety Contest April 2011 Grades K - 8

Do you have a creative child? Have fun with this poetry contest! bsp

The Harvard Coop Annual
Poetry Contest

Win Fame & Prizes!

Entry Rules All entries must be received by April 27th and must
include the author’s name, grade, address and phone number.
Drop off entries at the store, email them (with “Poetry Contest” in
the subject line) to, or mail them to Poetry
Contest, The Harvard Coop, 1400 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02238.

Poets From Grades K–8 Are Welcome
We will judge poems in these four grade ranges: K–1, 2–3, 4–5 and 6–8.

Prizes Three winners in each age group will receive gift cards
(First Prize: $30; Second Prize: $20; Third Prize: $10) and their entries
will be displayed at The Coop. At 2pm on Saturday, May 7, 2011, we
will announce the winners and host an open mic for all contest participants
who want to read their poetry. In appreciation of everyone’s
efforts, a complete anthology of entries will go on exhibit in
the Children’s Department.

Open Mic on May 7th at 2 pm

1400 Massachusetts Avenue | Harvard Square | 617.499.2000 |

Monday, March 21, 2011

Missing Puppies in Massachusetts!

Readers, Our friends at Sterling Animal Shelter asked for bsp's help in spreading the word about 
two stolen puppies. The puppies are believed to be in danger.

Quinn - Blue collar in the is a pointer/lab/pit mix female 11 wks male

Scout – female black lab mix 10-11 weeks (pictured on the left)
Contact: Leigh Grady – Executive Director
978 422 8585 or
Friday, March 18, 2011
Update on STOLEN Sterling Shelter puppies
Sterling, MA - As of 3/18/2011 10:15 PM – Animal Shelter Inc. has recovered 7 of the 9 puppies stolen from the Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, MA the night of Wednesday March 16th 2011.
There are two puppies STILL missing….and we are extremely concerned for their safety and well-being. They have both had surgery recently and the shelter has had reports that they may have been abandoned to fend for themselves in the streets of Worcester. Their pictures are posted below… the last know sightings were in the Worcester area of Plumley Village / Burncoat Street and citings were also reported in the Franklin St / David Clark area of Worcester MA. These puppies are in immediately danger and in need of medical care.
Quinn - Blue collar in the is a pointer/lab/pit mix female 11 wks male
Scout – female black lab mix 10-11 weeks (pictured on the left)
The Sterling Police Department, Detective David Johnson our Sterling ACO, as well as the Worcester, MA police department and Detective Mike Tarckini of the Worcester Detective’s Bureau’s have been instrumental in helping to recover these puppies. We’re also thankfully to the Boston Animal Rescue leagues PR department for helping to get the word out…and Lt. Alan Borgal of the Boston ARL who’ve helped us get through this extremely distressing time. Our shelter is grateful for all the help and support that the community has shown… it means so much to us… the calls and emails of support have been overwhelming… We are all very touched and cannot begin to thank the community of pet lovers that are watching out and over these tiny creatures who are so innocent,” stated Leigh Grady – Executive Director of the Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, MA.

Four puppies were returned to the shelter late Wednesday night by Sterling’s Police Chief and Sterling ACO. According to reports an anonymous tip to the Worcester Police Department led them to the puppies. On Friday morning, a man brought in one of the shepherd mix puppies before the shelter was open. Shelter staff recognized him as one of the person/s that was at the shelter the morning of the break-in. His information has been turned over to the Sterling and Worcester Police Departments to follow up. The sibling to that puppy was found abandoned at a school in Worcester in Burncoat area. Tossed out of a car and found cowered under a car whimpering. The crying brought the school staff to look for the source of the noise where they discovered the puppy under a parked car. The 7th puppy was brought to the shelter hours later, found by two Good Samaritans who saw two puppies running together. They managed to get one of the puppies, but the other was spooked and ran off. That puppy was seen in the Franklin St / David Clark area of Worcester MA.

The remaining two puppies are still missing and it’s disgusting and sickening to think that someone may have just dumped them in hopes they wouldn’t get caught. They could have brought the puppies to another shelter or made a call anonymously to our shelter or the ANY of the police departments, animal control facilities, vet hospitals or brought the puppies really ANYWHERE so that they’d be safe and returned to us for the much needed medical care they will need. We are pleading with anyone who has information, has possibly found one of the puppies or might know they’re whereabouts to PLEASE contact the Sterling or Worcester Police Departments or our shelter. “We just want these puppies home safe, back to our shelter where they will get the medical attention they are desperately in need of. We just know they’re out there and our staff and volunteers have been in tears over this…to think that they might be hit by a car…wandering in the woods searching for food, becoming hypothermic or worse…attacked by a coyote or fisher cat…none of our staff can sleep at night thinking of all the terrible things that could happen to these innocent babies….” Grady added.
Tips or Information can be directed to * Sterling Police Dept 978 422 7331 report anonymously or call anonymously (508) 425-4669
* Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling at 978 422 8585 or email or
* Worcester Police department text an anonymous tip to the or call (508) 799-8606.

Friday, March 18, 2011

CASTING CALL: Looking for TV Mom Look Alikes

Hello Moms!

baystateparent is looking for moms in Massachusetts who can pull off being styled as an iconic TV mom for
an upcoming fashion/editorial spread on moms. Just show up. baystateparent will do the rest!

Do you resemble one of the following 6 TV moms? If so, please email a recent photo of you, all of your contact information including your address, your availability and your usual clothing and shoe sizes by April 1st.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good Thing Dial Soap wasn't on Sale...

Happy St. Patty's Day!!

Last night, as I was tucking my girls into bed, my 7-year-old twins start chatting it up about the
leprechaun coming during the night to bring them a surprise.

I quickly correct them, as I am exhausted, and about to indulge in an 8 o'clock bedtime myself.

"Oh no," I say. "The leprechaun has never come to our house. We'll celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend
at Nana and Papa's in Holyoke at the parade."

As I leave the room,  I trip over shoes they put out for the leprechaun to fill with treats. The shoes are surrounded by notes and coins for the leprechaun to take.

Are you kidding me? What is a mother to do? I am t-i-r-e-d!
I don't want to encourage this tradition, but then again, they are little girls, so hopeful and excited
and innocent.

I get into bed, still contemplating, when my 10-year-old daughter comes to my side.
"Mom, we have to do something for them," she says.

My husband is at the store buying food for a St. Patrick's ski day in Vermont (tickets
are just $17 on March 17th). He never answers his cell phone so it's no use calling him to ask him to pick up
some chocolates, or anything to bring the luck of the Irish into our home.

I tell my daughter she can set out some stuffed animals I have put stashed away in the closet (they
were .50 each and supposed to be for their Easter basket). I fall asleep.

When I wake up, the kids are super excited to tell me the leprechaun has come, but I am the one who
is surprised. When they opened their bedroom door, they followed a trail of Irish Spring soap bars that led to the toilet where the leprechaun peed green (but didn't flush or he would have woken up the whole house). There were also stuffed animals.

Suddenly, this is romance that cannot hold a shamrock to red roses or jewels. How could
my husband have thought of buying Irish Spring soap (we never buy that kind) and make a trail!
It wasn't on the list he took to the store (and we all know he follows the list).
How could he have known that the girls were hoping a leprechaun would come? He is soo sweet!

I go downstairs to marvel at his creativity to find out he only grabbed the Irish Spring soap because
it was on sale, near the check-out.

He didn't think of a trail. He didn't think of St. Patrick's Day. He was buying roast beef and Fritos and cans
of Coke for his ski trip.

Turns out, when our 10-year-old saw the soap on the counter, she created
magic for her little sisters and a gift for me. I'll keep Easter, Christmas and Valentine's Day.
St. Patrick's Day is all hers!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 Events to Consign your Kids' Items or Shop Consignment for your Family

 The nicer weather inspired me to clean out my kids' closets this weekend. I sent over a bag of clothing to my nieces, which was funny, as they sent a huge bag our way as well. Did you clean closets this weekend in the hopes of moving out some winter-wear for spring? 
  Spring is a good time to think about consigning your clothing and kids' gear as well as purchasing some like-new items for the kids (or yourself) at discount rates. Here are four sales to take advantage of this spring! 
Good luck.
Carrie Wattu
Consign My Closet is having their big event March 18-20 in Boxboro from toddler to teen. To consign your items (or SHOP for top-brand name bargains), visit
Maynard Family Association’s Kid Gear Tag Sale

Done with all the baby clothes?  Or maybe it’s time to weed through your children’s books and toys.  Are you looking for some sports equipment for your ever-growing little one? On Saturday, March 26th 2011, the Maynard Family Association (MFA) will hold its Kid Gear Tag Sale in the gym of the Boys and Girls Club at 212 Great Road in Maynard from 8am until 12pm.

You may purchase a spot at the tag sale to sell your items.  Spots are $15 for MFA members and $20 for non-members.  The tag sale is open to all children’s items such as toys, clothes, books, maternity clothes, strollers, cribs and children’s sports equipment.  No household items please. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Alannah Gustavson at or visit

HUGE TAG SALE! The West Suburban Chapter of the MA Mothers of Twins' Association is having their huge TAG SALE on Sat. April 2nd at the Congregational Church of Needham, 1154 Great Plain Ave
Needham from10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Over 20,000 items are for sale at  low prices, including gently used children’s clothing, strollers, baby equipment, cribs, toys, books, DVDs & more! Cash only. For more information, visit  There is a $1 entry for adults over 14. 508-309-3324.

Déjà vu Couture ~ Children's Consignment Sale  
    April 8-10, 2011
American Legion Hall, 198 Church Ave, Northbridge, MA 01534
 Friday, April 8th 12pm-9pm; Saturday, April 9th 9am-4pm; Sunday, April 10th 9am-1pm 50% off sale! Déjà vu Couture is a seasonal children’s consignment sale. Sale items include: kids' clothing items (newborn through teen), toys, games, books, furniture, shoes, baby equipment, sports equipment and maternity clothing. Déjà vu Couture consignors set their own prices and are paid 60-75% of the selling price. Consignors, volunteers and new moms are invited to get a sneak peak of the merchandise at our Private Preview Sale on Friday, April 8th.  Visit our website for details.
The Chelmsford Mothers' Club is selling thousands of gently-used children's items at the McCarthy  Middle School, 250 North Street, Chelmsford from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is either $1 or a nonperishable food item per adult. For all the details, contact 978-496-1775 or


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Look What Readers Learned in our March issue!

baystateparent asked readers to tell us four things they learned that they didn't know before in our March Baby issue. (This was announced on our Facebook page. If you are not a member, JOIN! We give away lots of free things and share timely family information).

One reader received a family four-pack to Co Co Key Water Park for responding (valued at $80). Congratulations to Julie Siciliano!
Here are some of the responses. Did you learn something new? 

1. Didn't know Portrait Simple did pictures with REAL bunnies!!!
2. That they make retractable driveway guards - definitely will be purchasing one of those
3. That Barney will in Lowell next month
4. That kids under 17 are free at the Worcester Art Museum.
Candice Nutter, baystateparent reader

1. How to make rhubarb crumble... (May have to try this instead of my regular cobbler this year)
2. Oh Plah! Teething Bracelet - I didn't know they existed! How!
3. That a limousine company would pick up new parents and baby at the hospital and deliver them home in style. Who knew?
4. Higgins Armory has summer camp.
Melissa Platt, baystateparent reader 
1. Portait Simple does pictures with live Bunnies (my daughter will love that!).
2.The comfy shampoo lounger looks like an amazing must have for new moms:)
3.The Worcester Art Museum will be on my to-do list March!
4.Retractable Driveway Guard is a GREAT invention and will be in my driveway this Spring!
Christine Army, baystateparent reader 
1. Loved being reminded of the idea of rubbing breast milk on baby scratches!
2. As always, I love the Moms Rock! feature and love reading about and learning from amazing moms. I love Barefoot Books, so it was great to learn more about Nancy Traversy
3. I had no idea about the teething bracelet either...what a great idea!
4. Not much a fan of corned beef and cabbage, so the recipe for Dubliner Shepherd's Pie will be a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day dinner!
Laura Pagington, baystateparent 
!. Kids under 17 are free at the Worcester Art Museum- here we come!
2. Shampoo Lounger? great idea
3. Barney will be coming to Lowell
4. Portraits with live bunnies at Portrait Simple!!!

...I also have to add that I loved the story about camp for special needs children. BSP is so full of useful infromation, much appreciated!
Maria Gross, baystateparent

‎1.  Didn't know kids under 17 are free at the Worcester Art Museum.
2. Definitely looking into a retractable driveway guard!
3. My kids aren't teething anymore, but I have friends with babies, so the Teething bracelet is a great idea to pass ...on to them.
4. Didn't know you can use breast milk on baby scratches. Is there anything breast milk CAN'T do??
Laura Wetherbee, baystateparent

1. Nine-year-olds are sexting-thought I was safe a few more years.
2. Breast milk prevents infection and promotes healing.
3. You can register for meals as part of your baby registry...?!
4. A law was passed in December banning drop-side cribs.
Cheri Nordstrom, baystateparent reader

1. Babies that are strongly attached to their blankies seem to adjust better to anxiety producing situations. I had to read this whole article because I was a complete blanky lover back in the day. As soon as my baby was born and I found out it was a girl I pulled out my trusty blankie for her. Can't deny that I still love that blanket. So many memories!
2. That exists. Such a great idea! Will remember that for the next baby shower I attend.
3. That some bottle warmers actually make the milk in the bottle too warm for babies. This actually made me feel a little better about never buying one. I always use a mug of warm water.
4. That Bum Boosa Bamboo baby wipes company plants a tree for every package sold.
Julie Siciliano, baystateparent reader
More Emailed from our Readers
1. How wonderful for the parents of special needs children to be able to enjoy a summer camp too!
2. About the teddy bear clinic at the Greendale mall! I will definitely  be taking my daughter!
3. That kids 17 and under are free at the Worcester Art Museum
4. How absolutly beautiful my son looks in your captured section! Madden Kilmer! Thank you so much for putting his picture in! We love it! 
1. I learned that the Providence Dhildren's Museum celebrates Dr. Seuss' birthday with Seussational activities for kids!
2. You can get a limo ride home from the hospital with your newborn by calling Sky Limousine. How fun! I may look into this I'd I am ever blessed with another baby.
3. I was so excited to learn the cake decorating tip at the end of the magazine stating that if you put a thin layer of frosting on your cake, then freeze for a half hour, you can take it out and finish frosting like a professional- with no crumbs!
4. I did not know that you can rub a few drops of breastmilk on a cut your baby may give herself with those super sharp newborn fingernails.  I'll be buying The Baby Nurse Bible for my pregnant friends!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Barefoot Books, Concord, A Great Place to Visit Now Opens Pottery Studio!

 Have you visited Barefoot Books in Concord? They offer many wonderful FREE programs for you 
and your family...a great place to visit in a gorgeous, historic town. Barefoot Books is now opening 
a pottery studio, another reason to visit! Check it out! baystateparent

From Barefoot Books: 
Who:  Families with children of all ages

What: Join us on Saturday, March 26 for a full day of family fun at the Barefoot Books Studio to celebrate the opening of our new paint-your-own-pottery studio. Families can choose from more than 100 different pottery designs, including animal mugs, little monsters, and princess, castle, and crown boxes, and let their creativity flow! More than 50 vibrant paint colors will be available to decorate your pottery to your heart’s content, such as orange ya happy, blueberry hill, ruby slippers, and sour apple.

Storytimes will be held throughout the day at the storyteller’s throne where families can get cozy on satin pillows and listen to fun stories such as Animal Boogie, We’re Roaming in the Rainforest, The Prince’s Bedtime, and The Real Princess, chosen to accompany themed pottery pieces. Deep discounts on books and related pottery pieces will be available all day long.

Managing the pottery studio is long-time Concord resident, Elizabeth Parise, former owner of Thoreau ‘N’ Clay, and ‘potter to the stars’ including Carole King, Dana Reeve, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. The opening of Pottery Painting at the Barefoot Books Studio marks the only place where families can go to paint-your -own pottery in Concord, Lexington, Wayland, Lincoln, Sudbury, Burlington, Bedford, Chelmsford, and other surrounding towns.

Pottery painting at Barefoot Books Studio is now available Tuesday-Sunday for drop in times, as well as birthday parties, baby showers, fundraisers, and other special events.

When: Saturday, March 26 from 10 am – 5pm

Where: Barefoot Books Studio, 89 Thoreau Street, Concord, MA, across from the Concord train station

Why: Paint adorable and usable pottery in whimsical colors with your family while enjoying imaginative stories and getting deep discounts. Add a joyful ambience, satin pillows, cake. What’s not to love?

More Information: Please call the Barefoot Books Studio at 978.369.1770 or visit for details, including special pottery and story times (animals, monsters, magicians, ballet, princesses and pirates). 


Monday, March 7, 2011

baystateparent Wins 17 National Awards for Design and Editorial from the Parenting Publications of America

Contact: Carrie Wattu, editor

Arlington, Virginia (Sat., March 5, 2011): baystateparent received 17 honors from Parenting Publications of America after competing in editorial and design with regional parenting publications across the country in its circulation (30,001 to 54,999). Competitors include Nashville Parent, Maryland Family and Carolina Parent.

A listing of baystateparent's awards are below. Congratulations to baystateparent's contributing writers and photographers for this achievement!

For more information, please see

Editor's Note: The honors from the Parenting Publications of America follow baystateparent's 8 New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) awards, given on February 12th, 2011, Boston. Five of the awards were first-place honors, including General Excellence in Advertising. 


Silver: Bay State Parent, "August issue, fashion fables," Paula Monette Ethier, creative director; Allison Cottrill, photographer; Carrie Wattu, editor
This nostalgic photograph looks like a renaissance painting. The muted purple and green allows the girl's face and hair to attract the most attention. The hair and makeup are wonderful. This is a dreamy photograph.

Gold: Bay State Parent, "March issue, baby gaga," Paula Monette Ethier, creative director; Paula Swift, photographer; Carrie Wattu, editor
The nuances make this cover a winner. The curved pinkie, the lip being chewed, the closed eyes, and the curved tail of the hat make for a perfect photograph. The subtle splash of color helps distinguish the lead story.


Gold: Bay State Parent, Gramma Dates, Jonathan Cumberland, illustrator; Paula Monette Ethier, creative director
The excellent use of caricature in the artwork compliments the story of the fun that this grandmother has in taking her grandchildren on dates to create some one-on-one time. The colors against a black background add a 3D dimension to the move-house scene.

Silver: Bay State Parent; “Fashion Fables,” Allison Cottrill, photographer; Paula Monette Ethier, creative director
Accessories make the ensembles work. A neutral but busy (leafy) background force the photographer and creative director to devote extra energy and focus in on the children’s positioning and the colors in the clothing. The contrasting colors and attention to detail pay off.

Gold: Bay State Parent; “Fashion Forward,” Allison Cottrill, photographer; Paula Monette Ethier, creative director
The seemingly simple touch of replacing plain white backdrops with black-and-white background drawings make all the difference between a stock shoot and an interesting, vibrant fashion statement. Those black-and-white backgrounds have the added benefit of giving the fashion colors a little extra pop.

Silver: Bay State Parent, October 2010, Paula Monette Ethier, creative director; Carrie Wattu, editor
The strip across the top with photos and teases placed underneath draws the eye. The packaging of photo and tease makes it easy for readers and respects their time.

FEATURE LAYOUT (black and white)
Silver: Bay State Parent; Paula Monette Ethier, creative director
A restrained approach is the right one for this design, which addresses the difficult topic of infant death. The focus is where it should be, on the image.

Gold: Bay State Parent; Paula Monette Ethier, creative director, Steven King, photographer
In this spread about sugar, a clever photo illustration works beautifully with a focus on making the information accessible. Typographic contrast combines with a chart to highlight the most important facts, and the image makes the point clear at first glance.

Gold: Bay State Parent, “December, June and October,” Paula Monette Ethier, creative director
This entry begins with solid covers that are designed and photographed beautifully. They use multiple images per story, and they send the photographers when action is occurring so that they can photograph real moments. This publication also includes excellent portraits, such as with the stories on breast cancer, Christmas fashion and boy’s fashion.

Gold: Bay State Parent, “Think Pink,” Paula Monet Ethier, creative director; Carrie Wattu, editor.
An all-pink background for this special section on breast cancer immediately attracts attention. That pink background also blends nicely with cutout images of the women impacted by breast cancer, and in a few places it’s smartly relegated to the outer margins of the page to keep from being a nuisance. All in all, it serves multiple purposes, the most important of which is communicating relationships and theme effectively to the reader.


Bronze: Bay State Parent; Carrie Wattu, editor
“Nixing the Narcissism” and “Adventures in Groceryland” (August 2010) prove to be strong lead-ins to articles, and they both deliver the promise of the contents. Supplement headlines strengthen the main heads.


Bronze: Bay State Parent, “Breast cancer made me do it,” Bonnie O’Connor, writer; Carrie Wattu, editor, Portrait  Simple, photographer
These are the stories of remarkable women who, far from being defeated by breast cancer, have been inspired by it to launch a variety of businesses or charitable activities. The understated writing lets the content shine through.

Gold: Bay State Parent; “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”; Bonnie Adams, writer; Carrie Wattu, editor
Photographing babies who have died had to be a daunting subject, but in the hands of a capable writer, it became a moving, compassionate story. “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” is an organization that offers infant bereavement photography at no cost. The story finds its heart in the words of the photographers, often parents themselves, who see their work as a gift to grieving families. The writer handled this delicate topic with extraordinary grace and sensitivity.

Bronze: Bay State Parent, Carrie Wattu, Editor
Great concepts lead to great series, and the editors chose wisely here. The strong personalities on display shine through, making these great reads in turn. Wonderful use of local voices throughout.

Bronze: Bay State Parent ; “Think Pink,” Carrie Wattu, editor; Lynn Jolicoeur, Maryellen Brisbois, Bonnie O’Connor, and Bonnie Toomey, writers
A valuable concept for a section – resources for women with breast cancer. The package covers the gamut of resources, from how to help those who are undergoing treatment to a reflection on how the color pink represents or doesn’t represent the cause.
Silver: Bay State Parent; “Very Special Families,” Carrie Wattu, editor; Trish Reske, Lynn Jolicoeur, Laura Richards and Christine F. Dellamonca, writers
This issue broadens the idea of special families to include ones where parents have special needs. Another great story idea explores how to interact with mothers of special needs children – a positive story for all readers.

Gold: Bay State Parent; Carrie Wattu, editor
There is a lot to like in these issues. “Who’s Coaching our Kids,” stands out in a solid group of features. The writing is enjoyable and compelling throughout. The cancer-themed “Think Pink” issue was both important and moving.