5 reasons to step up in 2017 | NPNparents.org

*SPONSORED BY LURIE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL*
 

The 20th annual Aon Step Up for Kids is just around the corner on Sunday, January 29. Here are the top 5 reasons why you and your family should Step Up in 2017:

It’s a family event! Kids of all ages are welcome and those who are 12 and under step for FREE!
You can form a team with your friends, family or colleagues, making it a fun and meaningful Sunday!
It’s a great way to get in shape as you step in to the New Year! Earn bragging ...

Posted on December 21, 2016 at 12:34 PM

Why I didn't move after a nearby shooting | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: yooperann/Flickr

I remember it being a relatively uneventful Monday afternoon at work when this sobering message from 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman hit my inbox:

“According to the Chicago Police Department, at approximately 10:30am today, there was young man shot on the 900 block of West Buena Avenue. The victim was approached by two offenders and was shot in the chest. Police say he was taken immediately to Illinois Masonic Hospital where he is undergoing surgery...

Posted on December 15, 2016 at 11:59 AM by Matt Beardmore

Dealing with infertility? Toss the holiday cards | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: Mallika Malhorta

When you have fertility issues, the holidays can feel like a punch to your heart every time you open up a card with tons of adorable children or see the many social posts of holiday traditions for children.

Every year, I tape the holiday cards to the front of my refrigerator. My first round of IVF failed around November of 2008. I got pregnant and miscarried six weeks later. So, with that first holiday, taping the cards up on the fridge was a bit painf...

Posted on December 12, 2016 at 8:40 AM by Tasha Blasi

Help kids with food allergies enjoy the holidays | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: Johnny Silvercloud/Flickr

The holidays are upon us, and with the holidays come family gatherings, tidings of good cheer and food—lots and lots of food. Everywhere one turns there is cocoa and cookies and fruit cake—oh, my!

For some, this time of year, and the many delicacies that come with it, is welcomed. But if you have a child with a food allergy it is a total nightmare. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want others to suffer just because my child can’t eat something,...

Posted on December 07, 2016 at 9:48 AM by Cate White

Step up for kids like Mary Cate | NPNparents.org

*SPONSORED BY LURIE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL*

She may look different on the outside, but five-year-old Mary Cate, this year’s Aon Step Up for Kids patient champion, is just like any other kid on the inside.

Diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Apert Syndrome, which affects the shape of the head and face and prevents the skull from growing normally, Mary Cate has undergone several major surgeries at Lurie Children’s with more procedures still to come. It is Family Services prog...

Posted on December 07, 2016 at 9:00 AM

How to keep your New Year's resolution | NPNparents.org

*SPONSORED BY RAM RACING*

As the year comes to a close, many of us are mentally steeling ourselves for New Year’s resolutions of physical fitness. Whether you’re resuming your workouts after a holiday hiatus or just beginning, staying dedicated to your resolution can be difficult—but not at all impossible! Below are some tips for staying motivated during the winter months.

1. Make a plan. To maximize your resolution’s success, it helps to outline a realistic game plan. Making your r...

Posted on December 05, 2016 at 10:03 AM

I play opera for my kids (and so should you)

Photo credit: Amie Kuo

I was a theater major (turned banker), so naturally I enjoy music and performance, and my husband is a big opera fan. We're also parents to two toddlers, so music is an essential part of our family life. Before kids, my husband and I used to go to a dozen shows each opera season, and now we still go to half dozen shows as a date night, sans kids. (I know some who have parents tried, but personally I don’t think it is wise to take kids under five to the opera.)

...

Posted on December 01, 2016 at 1:55 PM by Charlotte Tsou

5 tips for cooking with little kids | NPNparents.org

We all know that cooking with kids is recommended. Research shows that it encourages kids to have a more adventurous palate and promotes family bonding, among a host of other benefits.

But the truth is, cooking with LITTLE kids can be a real circus act. 

Take, for example, the time when my mini sous chef decided to use the kitchen faucet as a fire hose. Or when and my little pastry queen turned our kitchen floor into a sugary beach. Of course, these things always seem to happen whil...

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 1:12 PM by Laura Hoover

6 reasons to go to Chicago Toy & Game Fair | NPNparents.org

Don’t let the 60-degree weather in Chicago fool you—lights are going up on trees and holiday music is taking over the airwaves. The holidays are almost here! And if you are anything like me, coming up with great gifts for the kids in my life is a struggle. I mean, I don’t want to be stepping on small figurines every time I walk through my living room, nor do I want to spend a ton of money on poorly made toys that fall apart within a week. That’s why my family and I are taking a trip to Ch...

Posted on November 15, 2016 at 2:34 PM by Amanda Simkin

This is how to treat a child with special needs | NPNparents.org

For 20 years I have been a parent of a child with special needs. You can imagine how often I have shopped for, and with, my child. Over the course of those years, I have encountered numerous vendors, proprietors and salespeople. There are retailers to whom I would never return and those who I frequent. There are common characteristics of those vendors, and quality of merchandise is not high on the list.

Foremost, both the sales personnel and the shop are inviting. When I walk into a store ...

Posted on November 14, 2016 at 9:46 AM by Kathryn Lavin