Afternoon PreK- Life before the graveyard shift?

With a typical wake-up time of 6:30am, my kids are used to being up and out of the house by 9:30am to start the day. But, with preschool starting in the late afternoon, what's there to do BEFORE school?

After weeks of uncertainty, we were thrilled when my 4 year old was accepted into our neighborhood school’s Preschool for All Program. We were much less thrilled with her assigned time slot- 3:00-5:30pm! With the graveyard shift looming, I’m scrambling to find activities for my daughter...

Posted on August 08, 2011 at 8:30 AM by Jay Annadurai

Out & About with NPN - August Events

Play, Connect and Learn with NPN!  One look at our August calendar and you will see tons of great events all around the city for you and your family or just for you.   Go to My Account to manage your mailing list preferences so you receive all the information and emails you need.  


Aug 2:  Meet-up with neighborhood groups at the Tropicana OJ Express@ LP Zoo

Aug 13: NW Side Playdate @ Peterson Park Playground

Aug 19:  You and Number 2 @ Little Beans Cafe

Aug 20:  Hi...

Posted on August 05, 2011 at 11:00 AM by Amy Johnson

Too Cool for School? Tips for Success

Parenting challenges don't end at potty training and sleep schedules! Parents of elementary school kids can turn to NPN for advice & info on "big-kid" issues too. Check out our Elementary School Parents Group- join them at their next event on Establishing Homework Habits.

“Oh, wow! How did you survive that?” That is a pretty typical response when I share that “pre-Mom”, I was a middle school teacher.  Apparently a lot of people think that middle school classrooms are bursting with ...

Posted on August 04, 2011 at 9:00 AM by Jay Annadurai

Hot Topic: Breaking out of your Food Bubble

This past May, I was asked to speak on a panel of mom bloggers to members of the Center for Food Integrity, a consortium of organizations from every part of the food chain, including farmers and ranchers, universities, food processors, restaurants, retailers and food companies. On this panel, I was asked things like where do I shop for food, what do I look out for, and where do I get information about my food. When I said words like “Whole Foods” and “organic” I was surprised at some of th...

Posted on August 03, 2011 at 11:30 AM by Sara Fisher

My Neighborhood: Family fun in North Center

NPN connects families in neighborhoods across Chicago.  Get inspired to check out a new part of the city or discover something fabulous just around the corner.  This stop:  North Center with Jay - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

With baby #1 on the way, my husband and I knew we had outgrown our Lincoln Park condo. When friends suggested we head a bit north, I was torn. Did life really exist north of Addison? Well, I’m happy to report- it certainly does! We’ve ...

Posted on August 02, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Potluck Playground Playdate

Hello Chicago Families & Friends-

Let me guess, you can’t believe it is already August! Where has the summer gone?

You also have a list of friends that, like me, you promised to get together with and still have not seen! Sound familiar?  So, let’s all make a Summer Resolution and get those friends together by planning a Potluck Playground Party!

Start by picking an easy local park or tot lot. I love the little one at the end of my street.  It has picnic tables, water founta...

Posted on August 01, 2011 at 8:30 AM by Anne Book

Perk Alert! 20% Off Any Plum District Deal

Did you miss NPN's Parent Perk Alert from Tuesday, July 26th? No worries! Here goes:

Plum District - Deals for moms, by moms. Plum District consultants are local, involved moms who care about what moms care about: supporting the local merchant by bringing handfuls of new and repeat customers. Additionally, Plum District supports what our moms support: schools, charities and causes! Watch for NPN's Fall 2011 Parent to Parent newsletter for our exclusive $250 giveaway to any school of yo...

Posted on July 29, 2011 at 11:02 AM by Ellie Ander

#1 Lesson I learned as a new parent

Recently, I asked the NPN Board of Directors, what is the #1 lesson you learned as a new parent.  Here is some great advice as you navigate the day-to-day ups and downs of parenting:

“A hug can deflect a lot of frustration.” -Elisa

“While the minutes may drag forever, the months fly by. Try your best to stay present through the sleeplessness and frustration. It all passes quickly.” -Kelley

“With twins, the first three years were very challenging, having two babies’ needs to mee...

Posted on July 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM by Kelley Ahuja

July 27 CPS Board of Ed Meeting from CNC

NPN has partnered with the Chicago News Cooperative to help parents get answers to questions they have about Chicago schools. CNC education reporters will contribute posts about how CPS works and what's happening at the board of education. CNC will also weigh in about state funding issues and trends in education. If you have a question you'd like to see addressed, please send it to 

CNC is our eyes and ears at the CPS Board of Education Meetings. Preview: C...

Posted on July 27, 2011 at 9:56 AM by Crystal Yednak

New to Parenting? Form A Must-Have Network of Support

Not too long ago (22 months to be exact) I was a brand new mommy and wondering how in the world was I supposed to give my baby the very best attention while dealing with a sea of change and an ocean of hormones. Also, how was I supposed to accomplish simple tasks–like taking a shower and perhaps shaving every once and a while? Or getting used to the idea that my new bundle was also now my bathroom buddy. 22 months later Ty is a little maniac, and still wants to go wherever I go.

So, ho...

Posted on July 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM by Ellie Ander