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Parents of Tots

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  • Monday, January 06, 2014 8:55 AM | Deleted user

    I am Kristen Herlihy, and I live in Woburn. I am a clinical social worker providing therapy to children & families, plus the owner & instructor for Baby Boot Camp ® Woburn/Winchester and mom to my 2 year old toddler, Connor. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you about how to balance the many demands that we as parents have in our lives. Whether we are stay-at-home parents or full time employees outside of home, we want to do the best by our children, and that means taking care of ourselves as well.

    Happy New Year!  Now that the party dust has settled, those gifts have been opened and the relatives have all gone home, it’s time to get organized and ready for a new and busy year.  But where should you begin?  You’ve made those New Year’s resolutions time and time again, but the changes never seem to stick.  Let’s resolve to make this year different, and keep those changes going all year long.

    One of the first recommendations for any type of change in your life, whether it is based on fitness, nutrition, lifestyle or anywhere in between, is this:  plan big, but think small.  Go ahead and think long term – want to lose those last 20 pounds?  Been trying to work meditation into your day, but cannot seem to find the time?  Whatever your motivation may be, it is great to think down the road as to what you’ll need to accomplish in order to feel accomplished.  Mark that finish line clearly in your head, and you’ll know your goal once you have reached it.  So now think about all of the steps that you will need to get there.   

    Runners know where the finish line is, but they also know that there are many, many steps before they reach that finish line.  So be that runner.  Make a list of the small accomplishments that you think you’ll need to get to in order to reach your long term goal.  For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds in 2014, that’s 52 weeks.  With less than one pound per week, what little change do you want to make to reduce calorie intake while increasing output?  See how it works?  By thinking in smaller quantities, you can work towards that goal in small increments over time, rather than looking at the long term as far off and unattainable. 

    Finally, remember to make it fun and allow yourself those times of rest.  Studies have shown that in order to integrate any lasting change into your routine, you’ll need at least three weeks of consistent & daily effort towards that goal.  That can be difficult when we are balancing the office, our homes and our families, so keep that in mind when setting your schedule.  It is ok to take a day off here and there, and give yourself little “victory laps” along the way.  As you reach your short term goals, you’ll be that much closer to your finish line and a healthy new you.



  • Monday, September 23, 2013 10:39 AM | Deleted user

    I am Kristen Herlihy, and I live in Woburn.  I am a clinical social worker providing therapy to children & families, plus the owner & instructor for Baby Boot Camp ® Woburn/Winchester and mom to my 2 year old toddler, Connor.  I look forward to sharing my ideas with you about how to balance the many demands that we as parents have in our lives.  Whether we are stay-at-home parents or full time employees outside of home, we want to do the best by our children, and that means taking care of ourselves as well.

    Now that the cooler weather is sneaking into our lives, we may find that our days seem not only shorter, but busier as well.  The carefree summer days & evenings spent lazily enjoying the laid back activities of warm weather fun are now replaced with scheduled, structured programs that help secure our hectic lives.  But with the holiday season officially begun, how can we keep the sanity while still reveling in the festivities?

    To start, make sure that you are crystal clear about your priorities.  Is this the fall that you will finally train for that 5K road race that you have been wanting to accomplish?  Are you hoping to take a more active role in your child’s sports team/dance class/drama club so that you can be more involved?  Whatever your goal may be, make sure that you spend some time being honest with yourself about what it is that you want and how you plan on making it happen.  We could all use an 8th day of the week or a clone of ourselves in order to get “more” done.  Instead of getting “more” into your day, get “more quality” into your routine.  You will feel more accomplished and satisfied when your to-do list turns into a done list.  So be specific about your goal and what you need to do to get there.

    Now that you have chosen your goals, go ahead and allow yourself to do something that we as parents rarely do – say “no.”  There is always going to be that bake sale that needs another tasty treat, or the mommy & me class that you just “have to join.”  However, if it does not fit into your crystal clear priorities, then walk away.  Yes, you can do it.  Just remind yourself of this little mantra – invitations can be accepted or declined.  That’s right, I said it…declined.  It is perfectly acceptable for you to set limits on your time in order that you may actually have some of that – time for yourself!  So go ahead and reclaim it by communicating those boundaries to others by way of the declined invitation.

    So the moments that you have been savoring have finally arrived.  You are attending that art class that you have been putting off for years.  Maybe you finally joined that book club that has been on your calendar, but never attended.  You made the effort to get to your destination, so just sit back and take it all in.  Be aware and observant of this moment that you have created for yourself.  Nope, the dirty dishes can wait.  The grocery list will just have to be completed later.  As busy parents, there is always something else that you can be doing in any particular moment.  However, this moment is different because you worked especially hard to create it.  Be present, be alert and let everything else just fall away, like the leaves on the trees.  The seasons will bring those around again too, just like your chore list, so enjoy the moment for all that it is worth.

  • Friday, August 30, 2013 10:29 AM | Deleted user

    Welcome Back!

    I say that with lots of excitement but a slight bit of hesitation.  This time of year always brings mixed feelings to me.  I long for the Fall and the more regular routine but will miss the many fun days of summer.  It was a beautiful August--well not for my lawn, but we had a lot of outside time: at the beach, in the pool, and at the park.   

    Parents of Tots is celebrating a BIG Anniversary this year…30 years!!!  We will be hosting our Annual Kickoff/Birthday Bash at Gooch Park in Melrose on Saturday, September 14, from 3-5pm.  It will be lots of fun for the whole family!  Melrose Recreation will be providing activities and staff including a bouncy house!  Bring your friends or catch up with other PoTers.  Don't worry about dinner for the kids (or adults) because we will have pizza and other refreshments!!  And of course cake.

    Along with celebration, this September brings a big change to Parents of Tots…we are piloting our weekly web-based newsletter.  We are looking for your feedback and contributions as we continue tweaking it over the next several weeks to meet your needs.  Thank you again to Mari McQuaid for her dedication to this project!

    Good luck with "Back to School."

    See you on the 14th!

    --Emily Amico, PoT President
  • Friday, June 07, 2013 9:24 PM | Deleted user

    Parents of Tots "Summer Fun Guide 2013" listing recommendations for outdoor parks, playgrounds, zoos, indoor children’s museums, and play spaces will be coming to your mailbox soon.

    EDITOR'S CHOICE OF MUST VISIT SUMMER SPOTS from the guide:

    Devereux Beach – Marblehead, MA
    Small beach with parking close by. Lifeguards and beach staff are typically on duty when parking fees are being charged. Large Snack Bar "Lime Rickeys," a public restroom, and a great play structure with swings and slides are available.

    Lynch Park – Beverly, MA
    This 16-acre park looks right out to the ocean and features a playground, beach, bathrooms, rose gardens and snack bar. This park has so many amazing things going on in the summer time--too many to mention. Check web site for their exciting events!! Such as Movie Nights, Concerts, Summer programs for kids and adults. Restroom available. Fee for parking.

    Davis Farmland - Sterling, MA
    Features: Farm animals, petting zoo, playground, go karts, water spray park during summer, snack bar and ice cream. Only open weather permitting, See website for more information on hours and fees.

    Bradley Palmer State Park – Ipswich, MA
    Great wading/spray pool and playground area that is fully fenced in. Plenty of shade and restrooms available. No snack bar is available, but the ice cream truck comes by often. There are also bike and hiking trails at the park. There is fee for parking closer to the spray pool with free parking about a mile walk. On really hot days this pool fills up fast so plan to go early.

  • Thursday, May 02, 2013 9:11 PM | Deleted user
    We have several members whose children are aging out this September and other members with new babies arriving.  This leaves us with a number of open positions that we would love to fill.  Experience is NOT necessary.  People are available to help teach you the ropes! Please email potfieldtrips@yahoo.com in you are interested in helping out or sign up on Survey Monkey

    Publicity

    Parents of Tots needs get our name out there!  Whether it’s online (The Patch), in print (local newspapers) or flyers posted around the towns (libraries, preschool, playgrounds), getting new members is critical to the group’s continued success!  The position requires less than 1 hr/month but is such an important component of the future of Parents of Tots…the more members we have, the more volunteers, and ultimately the more fun!  Tasks include emailing pictures from our past events to local media outlets announcing events that are offered to non-members and also to recap events--and the bonus that kids LOVE seeing themselves in the paper!  Occasional attendance at monthly member meeting is appreciated (primarily to keep you in the loop of upcoming events that can be publicized).

    Newsletter Team

    Are you looking for a creative and engaging position within PoT? As the Newsletter Editor you will compile content and organize the layout of the monthly newsletter.  No experience necessary, just some familiarity with Microsoft Word. As a Newsletter Page Designer you would gather information submitted by others and format it for the newsletter.  The task takes an hour a month but needs to be completed shortly after the 20th.

    Treasurer

    If you’re a numbers person, this is your perfect excuse to crunch numbers without having to account for billable hours!  This position fluctuates between 1-4 hrs per month.  Monthly tasks include checking PoT Post Office Box (in Wakefield) and reconciling the checking account.  Other aspects include occasional membership deposits and reimbursements of member expenses via online banking.  Annual review of budget with President are then followed by monthly reporting of budget versus actual reports for member meeting.  Attendance at monthly member is preferred but not required. 

    Tot Time Coordinator

    Plan a themed one hour tot time with craft(s), stories and snack.  Choose a day and time that works for your schedule. There is funding available for each monthly event.  This is a creative, fun and easy way to be involved.  Coordinate with other members who want to plan a tot time. 

    Town Crier

    Each month you would compile a list of the events and activities in your town that are tot and family friendly to be included in out monthly newsletter. This is an easy task and can be done anytime before the 20th of the month.  Reading and Stoneham Criers Needed. 

    Playgroup Coordinator

    As the playgroup coordinator you can help make the connection between families.  Match people via email from the comfort of your own home on your own time (about 20 minutes per week).  And submit any community relevant information to monthly newsletter.

    Festival by the Lake Coordinator

    Join this fun new committee and be part of the planning and organization of the Children’s Area at Wakefield’s Annual Festival by the Lake in June 2014.  Each of the responsibilities leading up to the big event are already outlined for those who join the committee. Meetings begin in January.

    Sunshine Committee Coordinator

    Do you like helping families who may need a little support after an exciting event like the arrival of a new baby or maybe a difficult time like a serious illness in the family? As the Sunshine Committee Coordinator you will coordinate the delivery of meals, by the members of the Sunshine Committee, to these families, on an as-needed basis.

    Secretary

    The Secretary is responsible for many of the administrative aspects of the Parents of Tots organization.  You will maintain the monthly member meeting agenda and minutes.  This is a great way to see what it’s like to be a more active participant in Parents of Tots for a short window of time!

    Field Trip Coordinator

    Enjoy taking your children places?  Become a field trip coordinator.  We are looking for individuals to help plan monthly field trips for our members.  Responsibilities include finding a place to go, picking a date and writing up a short entry for the website/newsletter with details, and of course going on the field trip.  It is as easy as that.


    We hope one of these positions interests you!  Please email potfieldtrips@yahoo.com in you are interested in helping out or sign up on Survey Monkey

  • Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:18 PM | Deleted user
    We have had some requests for morning and weekend fieldtrips and are in need of people to plan these trips. Our current set of fieldtrip coordinators are planning as many outings as they can during times that work for them. We also have two who are out on “maternity leave.” If there are no trips on the days and times you are looking for, it just means there is no one currently available to plan these trips. If you are interested, please contact us. Planning a trip is easy to do:

    • Pick a place you would like to bring your child/children
    • Select a date and time
    • Do a quick write up for the calendar to invite others along
    • Respond to those who want to attend

    If you don't want to do it alone, grab a friend and plan some fieldtrips together. We can help you with a list of ideas of fieldtrips that have been successful in the past.
  • Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:43 PM | Deleted user
    Thank you to all the members who took the time to complete our survey last month.  Overall we had a very positive response but as one comment stated “there is always room for improvement”.  We are still sifting through the results and constructive comments but it looks as though we continue to be a thriving and active group involved in many activities within our group and our community.



     


    Over 75% of our members have been part of PoT for more than one year – meaning they have renewed their membership at least once and in some cases more than 6 times!  More than 60% of our members participate in at least 1 activity per month.  Overall, 95 percent of the people who answered they participated in fieldtrips or events responded that it met or exceeded their expectations. 

    The 2013 Parents of Tots Survey results have been summarized into a multi-page word document that we’d be happy to forward to you.  We hope to be able to prepare a more clear and concise summary in the next month and from those implement valuable changes to our organization.  Our goal is to continue to be a successful organization and enrich the lives of area families for another 30 years and beyond….

    --Emily


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