Posts from: March 2016

7 thoughts a stay at home mom has every day

Photo credit: Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr

Before having my daughter, I never thought about what stay-at-home-mom life would be like because I never thought I'd be a SAHM. Fast forward though the newborn stage, my return to work, and then my decision to quit my job and I'm now living the stay-at-home-mom life. It's certainly been interesting, fun, challenging, wonderful, exhausting and all the usual descriptors. But I thought I'd give you a glimpse into the real thoughts that go through a s...

Posted on March 16, 2016 at 3:55 PM by Lauren Plotkin

NPN Leadership Transition

One thing I learned when I had toddlers: transitions are never easy. Whether dropping off at preschool, leaving them with a sitter, or getting through the nightly routine of dinner, bath, books and bed - my kids seemed to resist every step of the way. Naturally, I picked up a few tricks along the way: give plenty of notice, offer clear choices, and set a time limit if necessary.


Now, I find myself trying to heed my own advice. After being a part of this valued and trusted organiz...

Posted on March 15, 2016 at 4:47 PM by Melanie Schlachter

NPN perk discount on theatre summer camp |

Spend the summer "acting-out" with Summer Camp Chicago Children's Theatre!  Summer Camp Chicago Children's Theatre gives children an opportunity to unleash their creativity and bring their imagination to life. Led by a staff of professional Chicago theater artists, campers create an original musical production they present for family and friends on the last day of camp. During their week at camp, performers can write a script, compose original music, design and build scenery, and create th...

Posted on March 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM by Ellie Ander

Why oh why are there tiny holes in my shirts? |

Yes, there's a looming CPS teachers' strike, and the presidential election becomes more farsical every day, but no one is talking about a very serious problem that's plaguing Chicago moms. No one, that is, except for NPN members.

That very serious problem? Those tiny holes that appear at the bottom of T-shirts, at the level of your jeans' button. What causes these vexing holes, which ruin our favorite T-shirts? Is it moths? Seat belts? Laundry detergent? Washing dishes? 

NPN member...

Posted on March 11, 2016 at 2:26 PM by Laura Baginski

NPN Member Exclusive Discount: $25 off popular kids' classes

Pearachute: Drop into popular kids' classes! 

Pearachute is a new way to help your child discover and explore activities that best fit your family's schedule. Launched in February 2016, Pearachute offers flexible access to some of Chicagoland’s top-rated kids’ locations, including Pump it Up, Goldfish Swim School, Windy City Fieldhouse, Little Beans Cafe, Language Stars and more. Members can choose from hundreds of classes each week right from their phone - no forms, no phone calls, no...

Posted on March 08, 2016 at 7:00 AM by Ellie Ander

How to make hospital stays easier for special-needs kids

Photo credit: Courtesy of Julianne Neely


There have been a few strategies I have learned along the way of being a special needs parent that have been so helpful for our family. One such strategy is having a hospital “go” bag. Already having a hospital bag packed has been a major relief at 2am when we are leaving for the ER, because we don’t have to run around scrambling for essentials for what may be a few days in the hospital. We keep our hospital bag in the car at all times—we d...

Posted on March 07, 2016 at 2:16 PM by Julianne Neely

5 ways movement helps your child grow |


Photo credit: Lance Shields/Flickr




As a dance/movement therapist and founder and CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy, I have seen the benefits of movement in children's growth and development firsthand. Here are five ways movement is not only beneficial, but necessary for kids, especially those with developmental differences. 



Secure attachments are developing the moment our children are born and perhaps even before ...

Posted on March 07, 2016 at 9:21 AM by Erica Hornthal

The best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago

Photo credit: mliu92/Flickr

When someone asks whether a restaurant is "kid-friendly," that's often code for: "How tolerant is the staff about my kid throwing his chicken fingers on the floor just for kicks, escaping his seat to take a lap around the restaurant and having two meltdowns before the appetizers arrive?" But beyond being understanding that kids will be kids, kid-friendly restaurants also have a menu filled with things kids will like, plenty of highchairs and booster seats, s...

Posted on March 04, 2016 at 1:18 PM by Laura Baginski

Your child received a diagnosis. Now what?

As your child grows and develops, you might find yourself worrying and wondering if their development is on track. And when it comes to development, there’s a lot to keep track of—feeding, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, speech, language, social-emotional development and play (to name a few!). 

What happens if you feel your child is behind in one of these areas? To start, know that you are not alone. Every child develops uniquely and at their own pace. Talk to your pediatrician ...

Posted on March 02, 2016 at 6:00 AM by Libby Galin

Immerse your child in music and swimming this summer!

Immerse your child in music and swimming this summer with Merry Music Makers AND Chicago Blue Dolphins!

Merry Music Makers offers music classes, lessons, and summer camps that inspire children to love music. Their teachers believe that all children are musical and can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat and participate in the music of our culture. This summer, enroll your child in music camp!

SUMMER JAM CAMP offers two sessions of a one-week-long camp designed to introduce children ...

Posted on March 01, 2016 at 6:57 AM by Ellie Ander