Family

Minimalist Toy Collection for a Two Year Old

One of the areas in which I most struggle with minimalism is my son’s toys. It’s pretty clear that the benefits of toy minimalism go well beyond making it easier to clean up. And who wouldn’t want to lengthen their toddler’s attention span? But at the same time, I hate the idea of missing out on the one toy that is going to turn him in to a genius. (Newflash: No toy is going to do that. But that doesn’t change the fact I worry about it.)

 Read more…

Raising a Toddler Abroad: Prague versus Oslo

People are always very surprised when I tell them I think Prague is more child-friendly than Oslo. Isn’t Oslo part of the Scandinavian wonderland in which everyone is happy all the time, the quality of life is high across the board, and kids are allowed carefree childhoods outdoors? 

The difference, I explain is between a child-friendly and a family-friendly environment. And it begins with the countries’ very different approaches to parental leave, though the effects go well beyond that.

 Read more…

Raising an Adventurous Eater: Three Tips

Of the interests that brought my husband and I together on our first date, travel and food were two of the top three. (The third was a closely related one—wine.) With this in mind, it was important to us that Luca be an adventurous eater. That doesn’t mean he had to be willing to eat insects in preschool, but it did mean that he not be TOO picky as a toddler.

 

 

 Read more…

Norwegian Lessons: Barnehage

If you move to Norway with a small child, chances are that the first word you learn in Norwegian will be “barnehage.” Generally translated as “kindergarten” (“barn”=child and “hage”=garden), it is more like day care in the U.S. Indeed, one of the most confusing things that I started doing when we decided to move here was tell people back home that I needed to enroll my one-and-a-half year old in kindergarten.

 Read more…

Building a Minimalist Wardrobe for a Toddler (Autumn 2017)

Closely related to my fascination with minimalism is my obsession for the past several years with capsule wardrobes. Unfortunately, as much as I love the idea, building one for myself has never worked. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that I get anxious at the idea of throwing out my current clothes that don’t bring me joy—mostly because I’m pretty sure that all that will be left is a handful of evening gowns.

But while I haven’t been able to build one for myself, maybe it would be a good option for my son’s new wardrobe?

 Read more…

Facebook and Surviving as an Expat Mom

Facebook moms groups (like any moms group, apparently) are a tricky thing. The mommy wars are in full swing in many of them which makes them a very dangerous—but also enticing—place. I’ve seen even relatively drama-free ones blow up over topics like baby-led weaning and toddler boy “aggression.” But drama or not, there is one population that I’m not sure can survive without them: expat moms.

 Read more…

Adventures in Transatlantic Travel with a Young Toddler

First off…if you are looking for the secret to how to ensure that your toddler doesn’t cry during a fourteen hour flight and immediately adjusts to the new time zone, keep on walking.  I spent hours scouring the internet for that information before our last big trip and couldn’t find it.  There were tips for babies (but mine was (mostly) weaned so feeding him during takeoff and landing was not an option) and older toddlers (but mine isn’t interested in crayons or stickers, so those are out).  But nothing about how to handle a 13 month old who had just recently started walking.

 Read more…