Tag Archives: kids

DIY Rosie Revere Engineer Costume

If your kids are like mine, they love the series of books by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts- Rosie Revere Engineer, Iggy Peck Architect, and Ada Twist Scientist.


In advance of the March for Science the author and illustrator put out a series of posters for kids to carry when they marched. My kids wanted to carry the signs and Mabel really wanted to dress up like Rosie Revere.

Given that I’m not particularly crafty (i.e. no sewing), I set about finding an easy way to make her a dress.

I think it turned out quite well!


Mabel at the March for Science, NYC

I looked around online and found this inexpensive white t-shirt dress from Amazon.

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.21.33 PM

T-shirt dress

Then I ran to the local craft store and picked up a wide black ribbon and narrow red ribbon for the bottom hem, and narrow black ribbon for the collar and sleeve. I also picked up no-sew hemming tape like this to attach it all.

Other stuff you need- scissors, baby wipes (to clean the sticky stuff from the hemming tape that gums up the scissors).

I lined the red ribbon with the hemming tape, it was a hassle because the hemming tape was wider than the ribbon, so I had to trim it and it kept gumming up the scissors. So, I’d periodically have to clean the scissors.

Once I’d lined three pieces of ribbon with the hemming tape, I placed them on the wide black ribbon. The end result looked the hem of Rosie’s dress.

Once that was assembled, I attached it to the dress. And, because I’m lazy, I only did the front of the dress, I didn’t go all the way around the back.

I then lined the narrow black ribbon with hemming tape and affixed it to the collar and the sleeves. This time I went all the way around.

A scrap of red fabric with white polkadots completed the look!

Mabel at the March for Science, NYC

So if anyone needs an easy, no-sew, Rosie Revere Engineer costume, hope this helps!


Filed under Mabel, Scientist

What do you wonder? Nerdy Baby artwork for the young scientist in all of us.

I love Tiffany Ard’s Nerdy Baby artwork.  Her books and flashcards feature prominently on my Amazon wish list.

I follow her on Facebook and was in awe of the artwork she posted today.


Source: Tiffany Ard (Click on the image to see it full-size and read the text on the Nerdy Baby FB page)

What struck me most about it was the idea that there is wonder to be found everywhere, even in the seemingly mundane. And really, that wonder is science.

I’ve written before about how it’s not just make-believe that can spark the imagination.  The world around us if full of amazing things.  I love how Ms. Ard captures that with “What do you wonder?”

Turns out, lucky for us, that Zulily* is featuring several of Tiffany Ard’s prints on their sale site right now!

I picked up two of these prints- one for my daughter, and the other for her fabulous preschool teacher.

I also picked up this one for Nemo, who at 1.5 years already said, “Three, two, one, blastoff!”

And this set of “Art Prints for Young Scientists.”

If the Zulily sale is over and you would like to order prints, or if you want a signed print, check out the Nerdy Baby Site.

Have fun inspiring your young scientist!

*Note- Zulily requires membership to shop.  Some of the links to Zulily in this post are referral links.  You can click here to join, referred by me.  However, you should know that if you join, and purchase something, I will get a $15 credit.  So, if you have a friend who is a member, have that person refer you and he/she will get the $15.  You can also join without a referral, but it usually isn’t instantly.

Leave a comment

Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Nemo, Scientist


Mac posted the following on FB the other day with the caption, “A very special time in a young girl’s life – her first gaming dice. (First d20 roll was a 17)”

A very special time in a young girl's life - her first gaming dice. (First d20 roll was a 17)
A very special time in a young girl’s life – her first gaming dice. (First d20 roll was a 17)

I responded with, “And thus another generation is indoctrinated.”

Mac’s retort made me laugh out loud, “You get country music and Catholicism. Let me have this.”

1 Comment

Filed under Mabel, Mother, Wife

Science: Ruining childhood since 1543

In a FB discussion a while ago it was implied by some (who don’t know me) that I’m a stick in the mud, dream crusher of a mother who didn’t “let” her kid believe in Disney princesses, unicorns, dragons, and Bubble Guppies- as in, my 3yo knows those things are pretend/make believe and it was horrible of me to disabuse her of the notion that cartoons actually exist.


If you know the origin of this image, and the person I should credit, please let me know.

Just because those things are pretend/make believe doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy playing make believe. She knows she can use her imagination to think up anything at all, not just what marketing execs at Disney want her to think about when she’s parked in front of the Disney Channel. I’m glad that when she plays princess, she just thinks up what kind of princess she wants to be- and isn’t just choosing which Disney princess to be.

However, what really gets me, what I fail to fathom, is the notion that only pretend things hold wonder.  Have you seen a Cheerio under a microscope?  What about a flower petal?  Salt? Hair? It’s pretty neat.

little scientist mcphd

Examining whatever she could find under a microscope. Even boring stuff can be exciting when you magnify it 200 times.

The actual world, and all the things that actually exist within it are wondrous. Stars and comets, Princess Di and Queen Noor, dinosaurs and narwhals, Sally Ride and Jaques Cousteau- all real and all wonderful and all amazing and all more enthralling than anything Disney might insidiously market to my kid.

Disney has it’s whole “When you wish upon a star” mumbo jumbo, but it was pretty freakin’ awesome to stand in our driveway and watch the Minotaur rocket shoot across the New York sky as it launched from Wallops Air Force Base (click on the link to see the schedule of launches and the map of where the launches are visible).  To then run inside and watch videos of the launch from the ground, learn about rockets, figure out why it looked the way it looked in the sky, etc. was also awesome.  To have Mabel ask for pictures of the rocket launching to take for show and tell was awesome.  To spark her interest in space an space exploration was awesome.  Disney can’t top that.

Distinguishing the real from the make believe doesn’t steal her child-like wonder, it opens her child’s eyes to the wonder that is around her every day, even if most grownups are oblivious.


Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Mother, Scientist

Her first library card

A few weeks ago I took the kids to the library for a few hours on a Saturday.  When we walked in there was a mother there requesting a library card for her daughter.

My first thought was, “Where is her daughter?  Why not have her get it herself?”

My second thought was, “Why hasn’t Mabel gotten a library card yet?”

So, after they’d played on the computer and picked out books, we went to the circulation desk and Mabel asked the librarian if she could sign up for a library card.

And she did!

She was thrilled!


Every girl needs a library card!

Nemo was beside himself with job that he was actually being permitted to use a computer.  Oddly, as only 15 months old, he knew just what to do.

little man 091413


Filed under Mabel, Mother, Nemo

Flu Shots: We’ve got ours, have you got yours?

Last week Mac had an on-site freelance job, so I worked from home on Friday.  That meant I had the pleasure of taking my kids for their flu shots.

Can you tell who got the nasal spray and who got the shot?

Can you tell who got the nasal spray and who got the shot?

It was entirely uneventful.  Other than some tears from both of them, it was easy, a couple of crackers and we were good to go.  Several days later, all’s well.  Nobody had any reactions.  Safe and effective.

Mac and I got our flu shots a couple of weeks ago when my company had a health fair with free flu shots for employees and their families (over 10 yo).

I’m hoping this year’s seasonal flu vaccine works better for us than last year’s.  While Mac and I were fine last year, Mabel and Nemo both came down with the flu- a strain the pediatrician said was a mismatch to the virus (see more on the efficacy of last year’s seasonal flu vaccine here).

I know that no vaccine is 100% effective.  For more on efficacy on the flu vaccines in different age groups, check out Melinda Wenner Moyer’s recent Slate piece on the topic (and note she gets herself and her son flu shots!). Given the safety of the seasonal flu vaccine, it is definitely worth the miniscule risk to give my kids even a “moderate” level of protection from the flu.  My own anecdata supports the safety and efficacy of the flu shot.  With a mom who is a public health nurse, I’ve gotten flu shots my whole life.  The only year I got the flu was the year of the vaccine shortage when I was in grad school.  I couldn’t get the shot, I came down with the flu, wound up with an abscess tonsil two days before Thanksgiving, it turned into recurring tonsillitis (every single time I got a cold), and landed me in the hospital the week my thesis was due to my readers, which meant I had my tonsils out at 27 years old the day after my thesis defense.

As I told Mabel when it was time for this year’s shot, “This medicine will help to make sure you won’t have to miss school on your birthday this year!”  Since she’s only 3 and still thinks school is nothing but fun, that line of reasoning worked for her.


Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Mother, Nemo, Scientist

Whales at the Museum of Natural History

A few months ago I purchased a Groupon deal for a Family Membership to the American Museum of Natural History.

It’s my all-time favorite museum, and I am enjoying exposing my kids to it, watching them experience what I remember from my own childhood.

One of the particular perks for me is that the membership entitles you to after-hours members-only events.  This works pretty well for the kids, because it’s usually over a single exhibit or a few areas of the museum that are open.  Not the whole place, not an entire day, just a little bit, enough for a pre-schooler.  It also works well for me because I can go after work, and not have to take time off.

A few weeks ago, the event was for the special exhibit:  Whales:  Giants of the Deep.  It just so happened to fall on Nemo’s 1st birthday.

It was small, but it was a lot of fun for the kids.

Because it was after hours and not at all crowded, we could even let Nemo crawl around inside the life-size model of a blue whale’s heart.


The top is a shot of Mabel looking through the superior vena cava. The bottom is Nemo is the pulmonary artery and Mabel in the aorta. (I think. My whale anatomy is a little rusty)

We also got to see some dinosaur bones and Teddy Roosevelt.

AMNHYou can read more about the exhibit here.  There were interactive features about whale and dolphin communication- a simulated sperm whale hunt based on actual tracking data, whale bones to touch, videos to watch.  However, the all around favorite was the blue whale heart.  The kids LOVED it.

I was SUPER bummed that with this entire whale exhibit, the Blue Whale in the Hall of Ocean Life wasn’t included!!  Come on!  That whale is iconic, and you DON’T include it in your special whale exhibit?!

Nemo is too young to appreciate it, but Mabel gets it.  I had told her all about it in advance- that whales were so big they could take up an entire room.  Discussing it, my husband, mother and father shared their memories of the first time they saw it.  It’s a veritable right of passage for kids in the tri-state area.  So, when it wasn’t included I was disappointed.

However, thanks to some bathroom flooding on the main floor, we were re-directed to the lower level of the Hall of Ocean Life to use the restroom… where the Blue Whale is!

It was magical.  It was after hours, the lights were low.  There weren’t many/any people around. It was just us and the Blue Whale.  Mabel was in awe.  Saying over and over to me, “It’s so big!  It DOES take up a whole room!”  Laughing, spinning around looking up.  It was as awesome a first as I could have hoped for.

whale mcphd

Mabel’s first visit to the Blue Whale.

We couldn’t stay long because Security was watching and hurrying us along (since that area was actually closed).  But we got our glimpse (and a blurry photo) to remember.

Leave a comment

Filed under #scimom, Mother

Every great scientist started out as a kid, and every kid could be the next great scientist

I’ve seen this a couple of times on IFLS and I really get a kick out of it every time.

Source:  IFLS

Source: IFLS*

Sometimes we need a reminder that every great scientist started out as a kid, and every kid could be the next great scientist.

Maybe this kid will grow up to be one?

little scientist mcphd

The perks of having a scientist for a mom, she can bring home a microscope from work and you can see what flower petals, ear wax, table salt, and Honey Nut Cheerios look like on a microscopic level.

*If you don’t know who these scientists are or would like to learn more about them, see here:  Stephen HawkingNeil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman.

1 Comment

Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Mother, Scientist

Squeezing in play

Working full time means most of the hours I spend at home, my kids are asleep.  Most of their waking hours, I’m at work.  It stinks.  It’s hard.  I miss out on a lot.

Playing with them is something I don’t get to do much of.  I have to squeeze it in when I can.

One of those times I can squeeze it in is first thing in the morning.  I have fond memories of my sister and I piling into my parents’ bed on the weekends to snuggle and play and tickle and laugh.  Since my dad was always an early riser, our only chance was weekends.

Since Mac and I are NOT early risers, but Nemo and Mabel ARE, they pretty much come into our bed every single morning to snuggle and play and tickle and laugh.

Mabel 'checking her email' on my alarm clock.

Mabel ‘checking her email’ on my alarm clock.

Mabel pretends she’s jumping into a pool by jumping onto our blue comforter.  Nemo plays peek-a-boo with a blanket or a burp cloth.  There’s just roughhousing and merrymaking- although some mornings Mac and I are only half awake to experience it.

On mornings that I have an early meeting or there is a doctor’s appointment that alters our schedule, I really miss our morning snuggle times.

It may not be ideal, or educational, or long enough, or often enough, but it is quality play time with my kids and I cherish it.

Snuggling with these two is an excellent way to start a day.



build em up


Filed under Mabel, Mother, Nemo, Scientist

When should you introduce potentially allergenic solids?

Disclaimer:  I may have a PhD, but I’m no doctor.  Please don’t misconstrue what I’ve written here as medical advice, I’m only sharing my experiences and sources of information.  When it comes to decisions about when to introduce solids, and how to handle potential food allergies, no source of information is as important as your pediatrician!

A few weeks ago my mom’s group had a “Mom’s Night In” and several of us were discussing when to introduce solids, in particular, those that are known allergens (eggs, peanuts, shellfish, etc.).

I’ve written in the past about how Mac and I went about introducing solids with Mabel, and now again with Nemo.  Since we have no family history of food allergies, we didn’t hold back on anything (except for honey which is contraindicated because of infant botulism, not because of allergies).

Baby-led weaning in action:  Mabel at 6 months old munching on a Granny Smith apple

Baby-led weaning in action: Mabel at 6 months old munching on a Granny Smith apple

The science on food allergies and how/when best to introduce potentially allergenic foods isn’t entirely conclusive.  There does seem to be emerging evidence that delaying the introduction of foods does NOT decrease the likelihood of allergic reaction, it may even increase that likelihood.

There was an article on Yahoo Health today that did a great job of summarizing the science and the current recommendations regarding introduction of solids (three cheers for the author, Lisa Collier Cool, for linking directly to the journal article she was reporting on!).  To read it, click here.

The take home message:

•Complementary foods can be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age.
•The highly allergenic foods can be given as complementary foods once a few complementary foods have been tolerated first and should initially be given at home first rather than at a day care or a restaurant.
•There are certain situations when consultation with an allergist is recommended to discuss food introduction, including, among others, when an infant has poorly controlled severe atopic dermatitis despite treatment or has a reliable history of reacting immediately to a food. Source.

The original review from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that the article refers to can be viewed here.   It summarizes and outlines the recommendations of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology with regards to breast feeding, restricted diets, and introduction of solids.  It’s organized well, lots of bullet point, summaries, etc. so definitely read through it, even if you aren’t a scientist or doctor!

1 Comment

Filed under #scimom, breastfeeding, Mother, Scientist