This blog is for all parents; those in the traditional workforce, those who work from home, and those who work at home. Join our conversations about balancing the needs of family with the demands of work, discovering resources and activities around Alaska, and opening a dialogue about the perks and challenges of parenthood. One of our three contributors emphasizes teen and family issues. We welcome your comments but please keep them on point and civil. Avoid personal attacks and the use of profanity.
Cleaning out the closets - 3/1/2012 9:24 am
Lotteries, tours and a fair - 1/16/2012 9:02 pm
Local MOM approved restaurant added to the list - 8/17/2011 1:47 pm
Gratitude in the princess aisle - 11/24/2010 1:29 pm
Time is of the Essence - 10/13/2010 8:23 pm
Memorable Moments - 8/19/2010 2:34 pm
Alaska businesses go above and beyond - 3/21/2010 3:17 pm
Fight child abduction by taking action - 1/29/2010 4:55 pm
Posted: April 29, 2009 - 9:05 pm
Today, ParentPoints readers, represents the last post from the family outing perspective. My other freelance work involving a new family travel blog, AK on the GO, has taken on a life of its own, a good thing to be sure, but I will miss my weekly visits with ADN readers.
But, in the spirit of family activities in and around Anchorage, I leave you with one final idea for exploring fun downtown. In between visits to the Native Youth Olympic Games last weekend, the boys and I discovered the Alaska Law Enforcement Museum, or the State Trooper Museum, as many Anchorage-ites know it. Located at 245 W. 5th Avenue, the museum is a look inside the often-overlooked business of law enforcement in what has to be one of the toughest states to patrol.
Posted: April 26, 2009 - 4:52 pm
Staying up all night and then dragging yourself to work because your newborn won't let you sleep? Does it feel as though you arm is going to fall off because baby wants to be held every second? If this is a familiar scenario, there is hope. Another Mom told me about The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Harvey Karp three weeks ago (thanks Melissa!). I finally borrowed the video from my pediatrician yesterday and WOW, wished I would have watched it sooner. My son sleeps and is calm for stretches at a time. Check it out! I highly recommend giving it a try.
Posted: April 24, 2009 - 2:36 pm
As Erin pointed out in her weekly post, the 2009 Heart Run is upon us. As usual, Kaladi Brothers Coffee Company will have their trailer at the event, serving complimentary coffee. Grab a drink and donate to the Kaladi Kids jar while you are at it. Proceeds from the Kaladi Kids donation jar will go toward organizations that help local youth. Funds raised at the Kaladi Brothers Coffee trailer Saturday will go to AK Pride. Grab a Kaladi Coffee drink, throw in some change and help a kid in the process.
Posted: April 23, 2009 - 10:43 am
If your kids are some of the hundreds that will be converging upon the American Heart Association's Heart Run 2009 this Saturday, why don't you join in the fun?
We are fortunate here in Anchorage to have Running Clubs established in many of our elementary schools, giving kids the opportunity to check out the sport of running, culminating in the Heart Run, our first "big run" of the season.
The nice thing about running is that not much is required as far as equipment; shoes, socks, pants or shorts, and a shirt. Most of us can do that. Not much skill is required either; kids who can walk can run, even if it is slow.
Posted: April 19, 2009 - 1:27 pm
This month is a time of reflection for me. It was one year ago that I decided to resign from my job to be a full-time mom/freelance writer. Life was a lot less complicated a year ago. My toddler was still a baby and the day-to-day operations were not only doable, but enjoyable.
Now, I have a 2-year-old and newborn which means I never really know what the day will bring. My freelance is at a standstill until I can figure this whole parenting thing out. Frankly, I'm stuck and wish that I could go back to work just to relax! Parenting two children is a challenge, in fact, the biggest challenge I've ever faced.
Posted: April 16, 2009 - 7:51 am
Kids' Day 2009. What could sound better? This annual celebration of all things child is happening this year at the new Dena'ina Convention Center downtown.
Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m., thousands of kids will converge upon the downtown streets and the Convention Center itself to have a big kid party. And why not? Summer is just around the corner, I'm sure of it, and I think everyone is getting a bit antsy (see Gina's post from Monday) to get out and about again.
More than 65 kid-serving agencies and organizations will be on hand Saturday to promote and provide information for families on everything from car seat safety to arts and crafts and physical fitness.
Posted: April 14, 2009 - 1:26 pm
My son will be six weeks old on Wednesday. I'm finally recovered from the c-section, my husband is back to work. Life is a little out of balance right now as I try to figure out how to manage a newborn and a 2-year-old. I'm finding it difficult to go places with both kids in tow. My toddler runs in all directions, and it is hard to manage chasing her and handling the stroller at the same time. Baby hates the sling and is still a little young for the baby bjorn, so I'm a little "stuck" when it comes to activities right now. The slushy trails and greenbelts aren't helping. I am desperate to get everyone (including the dog) outside for some fresh air, but the trails need to clear off more before I'm comfortable taking the little ones out.
Posted: April 9, 2009 - 1:06 pm
My husband asked me this morning if I was planning on dyeing the eggs today; I gave him a blank look. "Today? I have plenty of time!"
Um, not really, as Easter will be here in a few short days and eggs, like Peeps and jelly beans, are flying off store shelves in their lowest-priced week of the year.
So I dilligently spent my morning finding all the Easter egg whoozie-whatzits; dye, vinegar (more on that in a minute), crayons, and those eggs (white, by the way, not brown).
Easter egg season was big in my Catholic family. As the culminating event to a long 40 days refraining from candy and punching each other as a Lenten sacrifice, getting those eggs dyed was a welcome activity. My mother did not believe in the Paas egg dye that was sold in the little tablet form; a purist, she made her own egg dye out of food coloring and vinegar. Nothing else smells like a hard-boiled egg that has been doused in vinegar, let me assure you, but it means Easter has arrived in all its Glory.
Posted: April 7, 2009 - 9:20 am
My husband and I made the decision that it would be best for me to stop working full-time so I could be home with our 2-year-old daughter and son. The benefits of staying home far outweigh working right now, but the decision comes with much sacrifice. Living on a single income is a challenge to say the least. After I resigned from my job, I took on all duties of running the household, including doing all of the finances. I am on a constant mission to cut costs.
Last June, we decided to pursue the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Home Energy Rebate Program. The first step, get on the waiting list - the very long waiting list - for a home energy rating. We got onto the list in June and finally, Alaska Energy Analysis, LLC came by the house in December for the As-Is Rating. We made recommended changes including replacing our windows, blowing insulation in the attic and replacing the boiler.
Posted: April 3, 2009 - 3:26 pm
Sorry families; the Alaska Outdoor Adventure Expo has been cancelled. Not sure the reason, but it looks like we'll have to find other ways to amuse ourselves this weekend.
Some suggestions? Head out to the Eagle River Nature Center to learn about moose, or just take a hike on one of their trails. We were there this time last year and found fresh bear scat; a sign that Spring was truly on the way!
When visiting the Center, consider becoming a member. If you plan to visit more than once or twice as a family, it becomes more cost-effective to join. Plus, you get access to all the great upcoming events that ERNC offers.
Posted: April 2, 2009 - 12:46 pm
Summer's siren song is beginning to be heard across Alaska. Certainly not through our weather, although even that is beginning to convince me it may be time to put the down parka away and bring out the raingear.
Alaska Adventure Media, Inc, local publisher of many outdoor-themed magazines free for the reading, is sponsoring its first Alaska Outdoor Adventure Expo this weekend at the Dena'ina Convention Center. From Friday afternoon through Sunday evening, outdoor enthusiasts will be able to converge upon the latest and greatest in summer fun. Cycling, hiking, RV trips, fishing guides; they all will be there under one roof to answer questions and share their specials for Summer 2009.
Posted: March 30, 2009 - 8:15 pm
I came across a couple of great articles during my daily reading that I wanted to share. They offer great insights on balancing career and family:
Posted: March 26, 2009 - 1:18 pm
Many teens will be pounding the pavement soon in an effort to accomplish one more rite of passage towards adulthood; the Summer Job. I remember mine, I was a summer camp counselor for the City of Bellevue, Washington.
If you know a teenager who enjoys the outdoors and working with people, have them hop on the Anchorage Parks Foundation Web site for a look at Youth Employment in Parks (YEP). A partnership with the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department, Alaska Youth Environmental Network, and the National Wildlife Federation, YEP seeks to expand the world of teenagers while offering them a real job. Their mission is to "positively engage a new generation of diverse youth leaders with environment and Anchorage community..". Pretty nice stuff.
Posted: March 23, 2009 - 10:03 am
Having a baby or thinking about having one? Returning to work is usually at the top of the list of concerns for new parents. The answer varies.
Policies within a company or organization often determine the amount of time given for maternity leave. I’ve known of women who get three weeks and I’ve known of women who get three months of leave. The need for time off depends on family support, daycare options, the tone of the office and your personality. I know of one mother who went back to the office three days after giving birth! I would suggest having an open dialogue with your supervisor early on in the pregnancy and then making a decision that is best for you and your family.
Posted: March 20, 2009 - 11:19 am
Need some clothes for your newborn? I was informed by a representative from Old Navy that the store is having a newborn sale this weekend. Many newborn clothes will be marked down to just $5 - a great price given that babies don't wear the little sizes for very long.
Often times, new parents don't buy the newborn sizes, thinking that 0-3 months will work, and quickly discover that is not the case. So, if you are in need, make your way to either of the Anchorage Old Navy locations to get some good deals this weekend. Happy shopping!
Posted: March 19, 2009 - 8:16 am
Run, don't walk, to the Alaska Native Heritage Center this Saturday. A fabulous day of performances that reach all the way around the world will delight the entire family.
Organized in conjunction with Education Through Cultural and Historical Organizations (ECHO), the Multicultural Drumming, Dancing, and ECHO Performing Arts Festival promises a full day of diverse musical acts.
America Indigena, the Crow Creek Pipes and Drums, Tomodachi Taiko, and others will team up with the Heritage Center's dancers and drummers to educate and inspire us all. In addition, the facility will be offering tours of its outdoor Village Sites, worth visiting now that the snow has melted off a bit. Kids will enjoy the Children's Art Activities, and everyone will have a chance to learn about and participate in some incredible music.
Posted: March 16, 2009 - 8:37 pm
Do you have a family friendly employer? Do they allow flexible hours in response to family needs? Do they have other policies or services that make combining work and family responsibilities easier? Is so, they are the perfect candidate for the United Way Success By 6 2009 Work Family Award.
The award recognizes local employers who help employees balance work and family responsibilities. Nominations are due Monday, March 23 2009. Forms can be downloaded by visiting www.BestBeginningsAlaska.org.
All nominees and award winners will be recognized at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce School Business Partnership/Success By 6 annual awards luncheon on April 27, 2009.
Posted: March 13, 2009 - 8:32 am
This is the time of year when, as a child, it became infinitely important to establish the amount of Irish-ness within my soul. A student at a Catholic school (of course), St. Paddy's day meant two things; free dress (gladly welcomed) and the Annual St. Patrick's Day Look-Alike Contest. What exactly we were supposed to look alike, like, I am not certain. But I do know that with a first name and a last name (Brady) distinctly Irish, pride in my heritage came first.
My peers and I nearly came to blows on the playground as we grappled over who had the highest percentage of Irish in our blood. Dressed in our cheap green cardboard hats and toting shamrocks the size of Trapper Keepers, we pranced among the swings and tether ball court proclaiming our "real" ability to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, as opposed to those who were faking it. Ahh, the memories...
Posted: March 9, 2009 - 9:44 pm
It is official, I now have two children. My son was born Wednesday morning. A healthy 8 pounds 3.5 ounces, 20 inches. This post will be brief, as will my others for the next several weeks as I learn the delicate dance of balancing a 2-year-old and newborn. A special thanks to Erin for Thursday post on tips to manage the two.
Posted: March 5, 2009 - 7:19 am
As my fellow blogger Gina prepares to enter the next phase of parenthood; you know, the one where you kind of smack yourself over the head and say, 'Oh, my, I didn't think it would be this challenging', I gathered my girlfriends together to share a bit of their valuable wisdom, just for her.
I had to ask my friends because my children are too far apart in age, 10 years to be exact. Gina's little one, er, oldest child, is a toddler, so she and her husband will be doing the parent-dance of raising two kids, a glorious part of parenthood, to be sure, but also frought with sleepless nights, toddler-tantrums, and a lot of love thrown in.