Author - Laura Baginski


The 5 most popular NPN blog posts of 2015

The most popular posts on the NPN blog this year had nothing to do with left sharks, pizza rats or Drake's "Hotline Bling." Instead, they revolved around classic issues parents have been dealing with for ages: babysitters, breastfeeding and generally just trying to make raising kids in Chicago a bit easier.

5. Confessions of a babysitter: A veteran babysitter reveals what really goes on while sitters are watching your kids.

4. Favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in Chicago: Man...

Posted on December 30, 2015 at 1:05 PM by Laura Baginski

Philanthropy spotlight: Books First!

Imagine growing up with little to no access to books—no library nearby, no books at home, not even a library at school. For many Chicago kids living in poverty, this is the norm. Bernadette Dorman and her organization Books First! aims to eradicate "book deserts" by receiving book donations from Chicago families and donating them to Chicago Public Schools that lack libraries. 


So far, Books First! has received 22,000 books and delivered them to 10 schools. Every single one of those ...

Posted on December 30, 2015 at 11:19 AM by Laura Baginski

Overheard on the NPN forum: Kids say the naughtiest things

Around this time of year, kids are generally watching what they say to avoid getting on Santa's or Elf on a Shelf's bad side. But some kids just can't help but spit out a naughty phrase or two, and sometimes we parents can't help but laugh. I mean, how are you going to keep a straight face when your 5-year-old says, "Oh fine, I'll clean up my f--ing room"? 

Parents are sharing the most hilariously naughty things their kids have said recently on our discussion forum, including such g...

Posted on December 18, 2015 at 4:46 PM by Laura Baginski

7 reasons to celebrate the New Year with NPN

Let the countdown begin! It's just 16 days until NPN's New Year Family Celebration—Jan. 2 at Lil' Kickers Bradly Place. Haven't bought your tickets yet? We're counting down the reasons why you should RSVP today:

7. We'll have all the yummy food kids (and parents) love: pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches, hot dogs, chips and guac...everyone will leave with full tummies, promise.

6. Soccer games with Lil' Kickers and hockey with the Chicago Blackhawks let your kids leave their boundless...

Posted on December 17, 2015 at 11:58 AM by Laura Baginski

Overheard on the NPN forum: Help, I need gift ideas!

With Christmas two weeks away and Hanukkah ending on December 14, it's officially crunch time for holiday gift-buying. Many of our members are posting desperate pleas on our main discussion forum for gift ideas for everyone from teachers to teenagers. As usual, NPN members came to the rescue with great ideas!

Find gift suggestions for:

Retired parents


Au pair

Preschool teacher

4 year old boy

5-6 year old girl

6-7 year old boy


Posted on December 11, 2015 at 10:25 AM by Laura Baginski

Overheard on the NPN forum: All about MILs

For many of us, the holidays mean being surrounded by family. Which can be both a blessing and a pain in the butt, depending on the personalities in play and how loudly they comment on your parenting style. 

No relationship has the potential for friction—especially during the holidays, when expectations are unnaturally high—more than mothers-in-law and their daughters-in-law. It's no surprise, then, that two of the most popular threads on NPN's discussion forum involve MILs. How d...

Posted on December 04, 2015 at 10:10 AM by Laura Baginski

Philanthropy spotlight: Share Our Spare

This is the time of year when many of us reflect with gratitude on what we have, and look to help those who have less. For Amy Kadens (pictured, above), founder of Chicago charity Share Our Spare, taking care of the less fortunate is a year-round endeavor. Her four-year-old non-profit provides new or gently used baby and children's items like diapers, toys and clothing to low-income or homeless families. Where does she get these donations? From awesome people like you! Read on about how t...

Posted on November 24, 2015 at 3:00 PM by Laura Baginski

Overheard on the NPN forum: What's your Black Friday strategy?

Are you going to spend Black Friday on the couch putting leftovers in your face, or are you going to brave the stores and possibly get into a fist fight over a TV? Or, will you have the best of both worlds: surfing online for deals with one hand while eating with the other? 

Our members are talking about their Black Friday strategies—which stores to hit, which to avoid, debating whether there are actual deals to be had in stores or online—because it's never to early to plan the Thanksg...

Posted on November 20, 2015 at 9:53 AM by Laura Baginski

Forum quorum: Favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in Chicago

Many of us parents like to plan (often to have our uncooperative children thwart those plans). And with the holidays upon us, there's so much to do in the city that you'll want to mark events on your calendar. What are the best things to do with kids during the holidays? One member posed that question on our main discussion forum, and our members had great suggestions.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Christkindlmarket (Nov. 20-Dec. 24): This German-style open-air holiday m...

Posted on November 12, 2015 at 12:27 PM by Laura Baginski

Overheard on the NPN forum: Do you lose your temper with your kids?

Kids of any age can work your last nerve every now and then, but toddlers? They take it to a whole new level. So how do you react when they push you to the brink? Yell? Laugh? Shout, "Serenity now!" to the heavens? Our members are talking about how they handle it when they lose their temper with their kids. Read more.

More trending topics:

Being left out hurts: Moms, stop "social engineering"

Why do people have a strained relationship with their siblings?


Posted on November 06, 2015 at 1:17 PM by Laura Baginski