Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coming Down From Sugar-high Craft

Written by Amanda Liljedahl

Wondering what to do with all of those candy wrappers left over from trick-or-treating? Rather than adding all those individual wrappers to the trash, turn them into art! Open candy carefully as to not rip (easier said then done amidst the excitement), then have children glue onto white paper. Arrange in patterns, by color or flavor and viola- new placemats!  Laminate both sides so they wipe clean easily. These are certain to provide incentive for the littles to clean their plate! 

Happy Halloween!

About the Author
Amanda Liljedahl lives in Needham with her husband and five children (two boys, a set of identical twin girls and their newest addition, another girl). She chronicles her days which include arts & crafts projects, great recipes for the family and driving her kids from hockey practice and ballet to what's happening in her life as a mom, wife and friend on her blog The Little Lily Pad

Friday, October 26, 2012

October Book Spotlight

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
by Pamela Druckerman 

This book is written by an American journalist who found herself married to a British man and living in Paris when they started their family.  She noticed a number of differences between her children [and those of her friends and family back in the US, as well as other American ex-pats in Paris] and Parisian children, who seemed to sleep through the night much earlier, eat a lot more variety, sit quietly in restaurants instead of running around like maniacs, and the like.  She then set out to find out what the differences are in French parenting that create such differently-behaved kids.  The book won’t provide a miracle prescription on how to raise perfect kids, but it is an interesting exploration of the cultural differences in parenting and the results of those differences.

Kid book:

Cars and Trucks and Things that Go 
by Richard Scarry

This is an old classic that never goes out of style.  If you have a kid who loves vehicles, like I do, this is sure to be a hit.  Scarry’s books always have a ton of detail and fun things to look at on every page, and this is no exception.  There is a plot to the book, but much of the fun is just looking at all the different vehicles [pickle car, toothbrush car, etc], as well as looking for “Goldbug”, a little gold bug who is somewhere on each page.  Highly recommended by my 3-year-old reviewer. :)

About the Author
Katie Edwards lives in Needham with her wife and two children, ages 14 and 3.   She has a Master’s Degree in Library Science, but has been a stay at home mom for many years, so she is happy to have an outlet to share good books with others.  She loves to read [obviously], travel, try new restaurants, and gab with her friends.  Luckily she is in a book group where she can simultaneously eat and talk to friends about books.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Needham Farmers Market Update and Petition

Written by Emily Roach

The Needham Farmers Market opened on June 21st and had a spectacular opening.  The community embraced the farmers market and continues to do so every Sunday.  There is just one more farmers markets left this season, Sunday 28th.  If you haven't made it over yet, I encourage you to drop by and see what the market has to offer.  There are still lots of local produce available from our three farmers: MacArthur Farms, The Neighborhood Farm, and the Needham Community Farm.

Each week we have seen a variety of specialty vendors and artists share their goods with our community.  You may have visited Gay Grace Teas, a specialty tea shop.  Or you may have seen some of our local artists display their jewelry, pottery, or clay impressions.  We try to offer something for everyone, but we realize there are so many other vendors that we want to include in the market next year.

In 2013, we are hoping to move the market to Town Common.  This will allow us to grow in two key ways.
   1. Increase our number of vendors each week with more space.
   2. Improve visibility of the market to people driving through town.

We expect the increase in patrons in the market will also drive up the foot traffic in Needham Center for both businesses and restaurants.  I often see moms shopping alone at the market while dad and the kids head over to Harvey's to go shopping. Or they head to an ice cream store.  Sometimes they stay and have dinner nearby.   The market has been a great opportunity to bring more people to downtown on what can be a slow day during the week.

The request to move to the Town Common will go before the Needham Selectmen.  We are asking community members (YOU!) to show your support.  You can sign our petition sharing your interest in growing the Needham Farmers Market next season.  If there is something you want to see at the market, feel free to leave a comment here as well, or on the Farmers Market Facebook page.

We are also welcoming new members to our committee. The next meeting will be Nov 5th at 7:30 pm at First Parish Church.

Also, don't miss our Halloween festivities on Oct 28th! We will be celebrating the pumpkin with a contest. Watch for details on our Facebook page, or sign up for emails.

Thanks in advance for your support!

About the Author
Emily lives in Needham with her husband Jim and two children.  After working in retail for 10 years, she decided to stay home with the kids and bake.  Emily writes the blog Random Recycling, co-manages the Parent Talk Blog, and is a board member of the Needham Farmers Market.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just two days away! Sale goods are coming in.

Calling all kid cooks!  The ParentTalk Sale promises to offer everything you need to prepare and serve a great meal through this fun play kitchen, grilling area, and child size picnic table.  These are great outdoor play structures to get kids outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather, and transition well to indoor play to keep us all from going stir crazy this winter.  Don’t miss the Sale on Saturday October 20!

DONATE:  Drop off your gently used children's clothing, toys and gear or just bring them to the Sale on Friday, October 19th. For more information, email

VOLUNTEER: Register for a 2-hour shift and shop on October 19th, BEFORE the general public.  To volunteer, please select a shift below and register specifically for that shift through our Sign-Up Genius.  
SHOP: The Sale will be held on Saturday, October 20th from 8:30 am to 1 pm
Christ Episcopal Church
1132 Highland Ave., Needham
(across from the Library/next to the High School)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peek inside the POD

Apple picking in the fall.  Beach trips over the summer.  Walks around the neighborhood on a weekly basis.  We love our little red wagon!  If this kid-favorite is on your holiday wish list, you're in luck -- come over to the ParentTalk Sale on Saturday October 20 to bring this one home with you for a great price and to support a great cause!  

DONATE:  Drop off your gently used children's clothing, toys and gear or just bring them to the Sale on Friday, October 19th. For more information, email

VOLUNTEER: Register for a 2-hour shift and shop on October 19th, BEFORE the general public.  To volunteer, please select a shift below and register specifically for that shift through our Sign-Up Genius.  
SHOP: The Sale will be held on Saturday, October 20th from 8:30 am to 1 pm
Christ Episcopal Church
1132 Highland Ave., Needham
(across from the Library/next to the High School)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Junior League of Boston Show House Event 10/16-11/18

As a Parent Talk member, new mom, Junior League of Boston member, and one who enjoys all home design shows – “Flipping Out,” “Design Star,” “House Hunters,” “Design on a Dime”…you name it – I am so excited that Junior League of Boston is putting on a Show House this year!

Thirty-five prominent local design firms who have generously donated their time and materials are transforming the historic Potter Estate, on the grounds of the Jackson-Walnut Schools in Newton. A different local designer has decorated every room, and it is a fabulous time to walk around and see their different ideas! From one room to the next you can see modern, traditional, contemporary, antique, and avant-garde. Where else can one go to see all the best designers in the area showcasing their work and ideas, while also sipping a drink, talking with friends, and benefitting a good cause?

"I'm very excited to be part of this year's Show House, a fundraiser that's spanned an incredible 40 years," said Cindy Reuter, President of the Junior League of Boston. "The Show House enables us to showcase talented local designers and offer the public a look into the latest design trends with the proceeds going to the mission of the Junior League." The Junior League of Boston is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Tickets to the event are $30 if bought through a member and can be used at any point from October 16 – November 18. Details on hours are below. All proceeds go towards the local charities Junior League of Boston works with! To purchase tickets, please contact Caitlin Moran at, visit the Junior League of Boston's website, or speak with a friend who is a Junior League of Boston member (by citing a member's name it helps her to fulfill her requirements).

Tuesday and Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday and Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am - 5pm 
Closed: Mondays and October 31st for Halloween

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 18th Lecture Spotlight Rise and Shine: Tips for Early Rising

Written by Kim West
Mornings for some of you, it seems, begin as early as 4 AM as others of you lounge around until 9 AM waiting for your baby to wake up. Both of these scenarios, however, can have their own repercussions. Waking up too early can mean a tired family and earlier naps, throwing off bedtime rituals later. Waking up too late does the opposite, pushing nap time to later in the day and sometimes prolonging bedtime. The solution is to find a schedule that works for you and your family and teach your child to stick to it!
Early risings sometimes have a very simple solution. If too much light is coming into the baby's room, buy room-darkening blinds (also good for napping). If an external noise - garbage trucks, songbirds, or a dad with a long commute who has turned on the shower-is waking him, you might want to try a white noise machine. Unfortunately, it's not always so simple.

If your child is awake at 6:00 or 6:30 a.m., cheerful, refreshed, and ready to start his day- even if you aren't- you'll probably have to live with it- that's a common and biologically appropriate wake-up time for a baby or small child (as long as they went to bed at a reasonable hour). Remember to adapt the meal and nap schedule to suit his early hours.
If your healthy baby is under 9 months old and you think he is waking up very early because he is hungry, try waking him for a final feeding about 11:00 p.m. as an interim step, and also work on making sure he takes more food during the day.
When your early bird stirs, go to his room immediately. You want to try to get him back to sleep ASAP, not let him scream himself awake. Give him his lovey and try to soothe him back to sleep without picking him up. Follow the Sleep Lady Shuffle guidelines outlined in Good Night, Sleep Tight. Even if he doesn't doze off again-and not all babies will at first-do not turn on the lights or get him out of his crib until 6:00 a.m. no matter how much he protests. Getting him up earlier, while it is still dark, sends a confusing message and is another example of intermittent reinforcement. He can't understand why he can get up in the dark at 5:45 a.m. but not at 2:15 a.m. Also, many parents I've worked with have learned the hard way that if they let him get up at 5:45 a.m., the next thing they know it's 5:30, 5:15, etc.

I usually recommend that the parent stay in the room for this early-morning routine. If, however, you feel your presence is encouraging him to be more awake, as often occurs with older children, you can try leaving his room after a bit of reassurance and see if he falls asleep again on his own. Check on him every ten to fifteen minutes. If you stay in the room, keep the interaction minimal. Try sitting in a chair with your eyes closed. When the clock finally strikes 6:00 a.m. and he's not falling asleep-and it can seem like it takes a very long time to reach 6:00 a.m.-leave the room for a minute or two. He may cry, but try not to let it bother you, you will be right back in a minute. When you come back in, make a big deal out of "good morning" time. Do your dramatic wake-up. The morning routine is the flip side of the bedtime-routine coin. Your goal is to help him distinguish between day and night, to know when it really is time to get up. Your message must be clear: "I'm getting you out of the crib because it's morning time-not because you were crying."
If your child has already transitioned to one nap and still wakes before 6am, don't let him nap before 12noon. If he naps from 11:00am-1pm he will then be overtired at bedtime which will lead to early rising again-the cycle continues.

If your early riser is over 2 or 2.5 years old and sleeps in a bed, then you will have to return your child to their bed and treat this like a night wakening. Continue with your Shuffle position until the clock strikes 6:00 a.m. Consider using an alarm clock radio to help signal to your child when it is wake up time. If you sometimes let you child get out of bed and start the day before the music comes on then he or she will not take the alarm clock seriously!

Important points about early rising:
  • Nap deprivation, going to bed too drowsy and too late a bedtime cause early rising!
  • Skipping naps and putting your child to bed later will cause early rising-I know it's not logical- you and I would never do that - but it is true!
  • You can't assume your child needs less sleep than the average until they are taking decent naps and sleeping through the night for several weeks.
  • Room darkening shades are critical!
  • Early rising takes several weeks of utter consistency to change so stick with it!
  • Rule out underlying medical conditions that can cause early rising.
Patience, consistency, and understanding of both your child and his needs are critical for this process to be successful. Be firm and be loving and good mornings will be right around the corner! I wish you both many happy mornings together!
Don't miss to join us when Kim West talks about sleep solutions for babies and toddlers on October 18th. For more information and to register please click here.
About Kim West
Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than eighteen years. Known as The Sleep Lady® by her clients, over the past fifteen years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits.
West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Babyand CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street JournalAssociated Press, Baby Talk, ParentingThe Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post.West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country.
West is the author of “GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT: The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep and Wake Up Happy”with co-author Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of “52 Sleep Secrets for Babies” (2008)
Kim West received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

photo credit: theloushe via photopin cc

Saturday, October 13, 2012

One week till the Sale!

Written by Megan Bourque
The POD is packed and ready for the sale!
The ParentTalk Sale is only one week away!  Have you made your shopping list yet?  Signed up for a volunteer shift?  Thought about donating those items in your house that are ready to find a new home?  

Getting involved with the ParentTalk Sale is a win/win situation.  It is a win for our community – the Sale is a tremendous fundraiser for ParentTalk that raises money to support all of the programs and resources offered throughout the year, as well as the several local charities that benefit from the unsold items that are donated at the end of the Sale.  
Ralph Lauren baby outfit with tags on~ save for a gift!
It is a win for you – the Sale offers so many great items to buy at amazing prices, as well as the opportunity to volunteer and be part of the magic, having fun with new and old friends, and knowing you are supporting a great cause.  We are overflowing with donations of toys, clothing and shoes, equipment, books, Halloween costumes, and more.  Shop early and often to take advantage of great deals!  

I am fondly remembering all the great finds I scored at the last Sale and eagerly anticipating the chance to tackle this year’s shopping list:
  • All the gear I need to outfit my kids for the winter.  Remember the Kamik snow boots I scored last year for $5?
  • Fall clothing in my girls’ new sizes.  I crammed 14 (yes, 14!!) pairs of pants, plus shirts, shoes, and some toys, into that brown paper bag during the $10 bag sale last May!
  • An early attempt to tackle the Christmas wish list.  So many of the toys that my kids discovered under the tree last year were super bargains from the Sale.
  • Gear for our new baby coming in December.  I am always astonished at the number of strollers, bouncy seats, pack-and-plays, and other equipment that greet shoppers outside of the church at the start of the Sale.

Over the next week, think about the various ways you will experience the Sale and reach out if you have any questions or want to get more involved.  Opportunities still exist to Donate, Consign, Volunteer, and Shop!

DONATE:  Drop off your gently used children's clothing, toys and gear or just bring them to the Sale on Friday, October 19th. For more information, email

CONSIGN:  Want to make a little cash?  There is still time to obtain a seller's ID and kit. Email by Wednesday October 17 for more information.

VOLUNTEER: Register for a 2-hour shift and shop on October 19th, BEFORE the general public.  To volunteer, please select a shift below and register specifically for that shift through our Sign-Up Genius.  
SHOP: The Sale will be held on Saturday, October 20th from 8:30 am to 1 pm
Christ Episcopal Church
1132 Highland Ave., Needham
(across from the Library/next to the High School)

About the Author
Megan Bourque lives in Needham with her husband Zach and two young daughters.  A full time health care benefits consultant by day, Megan is on a continued quest to find the perfect balance of work and life, thriving on experimenting with new tips and tricks to manage the chaos and make time to combine her passions of kids and health in a fun and delicious way through cooking, baking, crafting, photography, and outdoor fun.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Recipe Spotlight: French Onion Soup

Written by Joy Errico Seusing

I have always loved getting French onion soup in restaurants so I decided this fall I would experiment and try to come up with a recipe that was just as good. I find this very filling and perfect with a simple salad on the side for dinner. This recipe makes enough for four large bowls. Enjoy!
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 yellow onions (medium-large), sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. flour
¾ cup red wine of your choice
1 tsp. thyme (fresh is best- if you use dry, just put in a pinch)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. lemon juice
4 cups beef broth
½ cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese (you could also use sliced)
Four thick (1 inch or so) baguette slices

Melt the butter on medium heat in a large sauce/soup pan. Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper and keep heat on medium. Cover the pan and cook, stirring every fifteen minutes or so, for one hour and a half. Add in flour and stir until combined. Add wine, thyme, broth, bay leaves, lemon juice, and more salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Heat your broiler on high. Spoon the soup into 4 bowls, put a baguette slice in each bowl and cover with cheese. Broil for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Yummy!
About the Author
Joy Errico Seusing lives in Needham with her husband and two young children. She is the Vice President for External Relations at Jumpstart, a national early education organization headquartered in Boston. In addition to being a happily busy working mom, Joy loves traveling to new places, reading on her Kindle, interior design, power yoga, and of course, cooking!  Joy is a monthly contributor for the Parent Talk blog so be sure to check back for new recipe ideas each month.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

International Babywearing Week Boston 2012

Written by Emily Roach

When I had my daughter over three years ago, baby wearing was just starting to be a trendy thing. Now a baby carrier is one of the must have's on every baby registry list.  Did you know this is International Babywearing Week?  October 8-14th is a time to celebrate babywearing and all the wonderful benefits it brings.

Boston Babywearers is a local non profit group who works to teach parents how to use baby carriers.  I learned from them that there are over 60 different carrier options. Even cooler is they have a library of all of these carrier options so you really can get the opportunity to find the perfect fit for you and and your infant, and then for toddler sized children.
Our Baby Bjorn has been well loved
Nearly everyone I knew had a Baby Bjorn so I started with one too.  We loved ours, and I say we because my husband was also a proud babywearer.  When I asked on Facebook, I got many responses on which type of baby carrier people used.

Ring sling for the first one, with some occasional Bjorn and later Ergo. Moby wrap and Ergo for the second. -Julia M.  
We got the most use out of our Hotsling, but also used bjorn, Moby and backpack. -Cerissa L. 
Ergo! So sad my kids don't fit in it anymore- they loved it as much as me! -Kate O. 
Baby Bjorn - loved the "clicks" and straps. I tried a sling, but I needed the structure of the Bjorn. -Ceci F.
Ergo and bjorn -Katie S.
Moby wrap, ring sling, Ergo, Bjorn -Lane R. 

This week in celebration of International Babywearing Week, Boston Babywearers is hosting events throughout the week.  Find the schedule here. There is also a big Bash on October 13th from 1-3pm at Old South Church in Copley Square, downtown Boston.  There will be a variety of carriers to try, a local chiropractor on hand to discuss hip development and displays from Diaper Lab, Mama Ballroom, Tiny Signs and Happy Family.  There will be over $3000 worth of raffle prizes too! Tickets are only $5 and help benefit the Boston Babywearers.

If you used a baby carrier, what did you use?

About the Author
Emily lives in Needham with her husband Jim and two children.  After working in retail for 10 years, she decided to stay home with the kids and bake.  Emily writes the blog Random Recycling, co-manages the Parent Talk Blog and does social media consulting for small businesses (and friends.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Luminary Stroll: Needham's First Luminary Night

Written by Alecia White Scharback 
How pretty would your neighborhood be like this?
Nothing says "welcome" more than a burning lamp or candle.  I remember our chilly November wedding day--we had taken special care to have lit luminaries line the path up the hill to our reception venue.  Those golden, flickering lights were romantic, yes, but they also warmly welcomed our friends and neighbors to celebrate with us. 

Homes all over Needham will be lighting luminaries along their walkways and sidewalks to connect home-to-home and neighbor-to-neighbor, on Sunday, November 4th.  Your family and you can enjoy a beautiful, candlelit stroll through our wonderful community, as well as join the festivities in Needham Center, which will be abuzz between 4-6 p.m.  There will be open businesses, restaurants, and entertainment along the illuminated streets.  A "labrynth of lights" will also adorn Greens Field.  

Other neighboring towns have been enjoying their own luminary nights for several years, but this will be Needham's first ever Luminary Stroll.  Here's how to be part of the magic:

1.  Order your luminary kit(s):
2.  Light your luminaries after 5 PM on November 4th
3.  Visit Needham Center between 4-6 PM
4.  Enjoy a stroll through hundreds of glimmering neighborhoods 

Proceeds from the purchase of luminaries will benefit the Community Center of Needham group, a wonderful organization committed to bringing a much-needed, top-notch community center to our town.  Visit for more info and to purchase your luminaries.  

See you soon, Neighbors!

 About the Author
Alecia White Scharback is currently a stay-at-home mom in Needham.  She lives with her husband and two small children.  Fairly new to town, she enjoys discovering all the varied things Needham has to offer young families.  A Midwesterner at heart, and after spending nearly six years in NYC, Alecia is a reluctant (yet burgeoning!) Red Sox fan. 
Image Source 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October Book Spotlight

 Written by Katie Edwards

Beautiful Ruins 

by Jess Walter

I read this over the summer and really enjoyed it.  It is one of those books that covers 50 years and two countries in the telling of the story, but it’s well-paced and the characters are sympathetic.  Romantic, sad, funny...this book has it all!

Amazon’s description:
 The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow. Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

Kid book:
Bear Snores On 

by Karma Wilson

This is one of my favorite books to read to my son...I love the gentle rhymes of the story, and the illustrations are really great.  The book tells the story of a hibernating bear, whose lair is invaded on a cold night by a host of small animals, all of whom bring something to the party.  But what will happen when a stray pepper flake causes the bear to sneeze and wake up?  Read on and find out!

About the Author
Katie Edwards lives in Needham with her wife and two children, ages 13 and 3.   She has a Master’s Degree in Library Science, but has been a stay at home mom for many years, so she is happy to have an outlet to share good books with others.  She loves to read [obviously], travel, try new restaurants, and gab with her friends.  Luckily she is in a book group where she can simultaneously eat and talk to friends about books.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New to Needham Tips

Written by Mary Celeste Brown

Babysitting at the Charles River YMCA
I’m back with some fun, interesting or maybe even important things to know, especially if you are new to the area.  I was walking in the Walk for Walker School Saturday (beautiful day for it!) and talking about this blog post when I heard the most interesting and useful piece of information.  I didn’t know that the Charles River YMCA has babysitting for parents who are there for a workout of their own.  Very useful, check it out.  Also, combine that with the discount the Y gives Parent Talk members, and their powers combined the Parent Talk and YMCA memberships spell out real value and convenience.

The Train in the Woods

I have also heard about a toy train set in the Needham Town Forest.  So on a recent fall morning, I went out to look for it.  I wasn’t sure I was going to find the train tracks; there are many, many trails in the forest.  There is plenty to see on a walk in the woods, of course, even if you don’t find the train.  There was a beautiful fungus my daughter will be delighted to identify for me.
But I did find the train set. 
If you are lucky you may meet the person who built it, I read it is Jim Metcalf, and see the train running.  But if you are not so lucky, there is still a great deal to see.  You can look for the polar bears             

Or the islands in the birdbath

Or play on the spiral road with the dump truck

Or the dinosaurs

There is a plenty more to find and play with, tiny birdhouses mark the paths along the way, there are tiny bridges, little bridges and bridges big enough to walk over, more trucks and a workman at a picnic table, a mineshaft entrance, a lamp on a tree.  Again, if you don’t make it to the play spot, you will still see plenty of low bush blueberries, mossy stumps and princess pines.
So one of these perfect fall days, if you are looking for somewhere to take your children outdoors, look no further than the Needham Town Forest.

If you know of something fun about Needham, Dover, Wellesley, Dedham, Newton or the surrounding towns that you wish you knew when you were new to the area, drop me a line at, so I can let your new neighbors know about it, too!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Parent Talk's Sale: Doing good. One 'baby onsie' and 'toy' at a time

Parent Talk's Fall Used Clothing, Toy & Equipment Sale is less than one month away! On Saturday, October 20, 2012, the sale will feature clothes, baby gear, sports equipment, books and more. One of the best parts of the sale? All unsold items are donated to local charitable organizations that rely on these goods to serve families in need. The charities benefitting from this year's sale items are:
  • Baby Bundles (Lynn's Women's Health)
  • Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
  • Chelsea Community Health
  • Circle of Hope
  • Cradles to Crayons
  • Reach Out and Read
  • Room to Grow
"Baby Bundles is a non-profit effort that provides baby clothing and layette items for mothers-in-need. All donations are distributed through Lynn Women's Health, an area Obstetrical practice, and are personally presented to expectant mothers towards the end of their pregnancy. Often times, these items are the only "gift" that they will receive upon the birth of their precious child," said Christine Cusick, former Parent Talk member and co-founder of Baby Bundles. "Because of the consistent and generous donations received from Parent Talk, Inc. these past four years, we have been able to make a small, but important difference in the lives of less fortunate women."
When you are cleaning out your closets and garages, think about all of the good you are doing, and don't forget to DONATE, CONSIGN and VOLUNTEER. Any questions? - email 
Parent Talk Used Clothing, Toy & Equipment Sale 
General Sale: 8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.Clearance Bag Sale: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.Location: Christ Episcopal Church, 1132 Highland Ave., Needham, MA(Across the street from the Needham Public Library)

Ease the jitters and head to the Preschool Fair

Written by Lindsay Wands

A year ago, days after my son was born, I called a friend with tears streaming down my face.  Afraid that I had missed the preschool application deadline for my then 2 year old, I was panicked.   “Don’t worry,” my much wiser friend assured me, “the Parent Talk preschool fair is next week.  You’ll be fine.”  And she was right.  

At the fair, I was able to sign up for times to tour local preschools; I spoke with Directors and parents about educational philosophies; and I left the fair with more information about preschools than I ever imagined possible. But most importantly, I left with peace of mind.  

Looking back, I can’t believe I was so worried.  But choosing a preschool was the first big decision that we made for our daughter, and it seemed like the most important decision ever (dwarfing my own high school and college selection process).  Attending the Parent Talk Preschool Fair allowed me to see first hand all of the incredible options available and helped put my mind at ease.    

On Thursday, October 11 Parent Talk will host its 8th annual Preschool Fair at Pollard Middle School from 7 pm – 9 pm.  I hope it’s as helpful for you as it was for me.  

About the Author
Lindsay Wands lives in the Needham with her husband and two children. She and Debby Robbins are co-chairs of this year's PT preschool fair.  

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