Biography

Kristin Callinan lives in Eastern Connecticut with her husband Tom, their two daughters and dog, Jake.

Kristin Callinan

Kristin Callinan

Mommy Minute

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"I Didn't Make the Team"

"I Didn't Make the Team"

December 23, 2014

In 7th grade, I tried out for the field hockey team.

  • What do Teachers Really Want?

    December 18, 2014

    As the last day of school approaches before winter break, I wondered, what do we get my daughter's teachers?

  • Tipping Etiquette for Your Nanny or Babysitter

    December 16, 2014

    You trust them with your children, so what do you get them for the hoidays to show your appreciation?

  • Don't Get Stuck!

    December 11, 2014

    I've been there.

  • Car Seats Expire Too!

    December 9, 2014

    It's a beautiful thing. You've got questions, they've got answers. 

  • Let There Be Light!

    December 4, 2014

    I used to dread it.

  • #GivingTuesday

    December 2, 2014

    Following the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the true spirit of the holiday season today: #GivingTuesday.

  • Black Friday, No Thanks!

    November 28, 2014

    Did you set your alarm, flier in hand, get in line and join the Black Friday crowds? Or maybe you hit up the outlets on your way home from Thanksgiving?

  • Cooking with the Kids: Thanksgiving Ideas!

    November 25, 2014

    Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Or maybe you're one of the estimated 46 million Americans expected to travel for the holiday.

  • Winter Coats & Car Seats Don't Mix

    November 20, 2014

    It's freezing out. Gone are the days of running out of the house without the big, bulky winter coat, hat and mittens. But, if you've got a child still in a car seat, you might want to rethink that winter coat, at least for the ride.  "Technically, car seats aren't designed for winter coats" says Dr. Kurt Stewart, of Sutay and Stewart Pediatrics in South Windsor.  So, what's a parent to do? I found some helpful information and guidelines on this consumer report.  It explains how you can determine if your child's coat is too big for the car seat. It also includes a couple of suggestions for keeping them warm in the car. 

  • Time Out!

    November 18, 2014

    "You need a time-out!" I've now said to my 3 year old daughter several times. Sometimes we're home, so my husband or I are the only witnesses, but sometimes, it's one of those grocery store meltdowns or freak-outs leaving a play place.

  • Save The Bright Spot

    November 13, 2014

    "I don't trust many people with my child, and she treats each child like their hers" says Michelle Beathard, a Coventry mother of two.  She's talking about Dawne Morison, the owner and director of The Bright Spot Children's Playplace in Vernon.  Dawne tells me she's leaving her "baby" because her husband got a job offer they couldn't refuse out of state, "we made a decision in the best interest of our children."  That's not to say the choice was easy.  Talking to her, you can see how difficult it was.  Dawne was a teacher until the birth of her first child and tells me she planned to stay home with him.  The idea to open The Bright Spot was a gradual one that she executed following the birth of her daughter.  Dawne put a business plan together and opened The Bright Spot October 15th, 2010.  "I remember not seeing one person all day except the mailman at first" she tells me, but then the business started to grow steadily.  So much so, they moved from their original location, which was still in the same plaza, to their current one to accomodate her customers.  Michelle Beathard started taking her daughter Isabella to open play when she was 18 months old.  She now has a two year old son Noah as well and has enrolled her children in several of their classes throughout the last few years.  Michelle says "The Bright Spot, for us, has been a great place for kids, but also as a mom... to talk about my successes and failures... it's a nice break."  Michelle talked to me about all the support she receives from the community of parents who take their kids there.  For her, it's also about trust.  "My son is my velcro baby... wants mommy all the time... but at The Bright Spot... from day one he walked in like he owned the place... no tears... which is miraculous."  Michelle tells me the reason is Dawne and the environment she's created.  She employees a staff of four, Marie, Katie, Amanda and Lilli.  Marie is so passionate about working there and her friendship with Dawne, she's started a gofundme campaign she's promoting on Facebook to try and raise money for an investor.  Even reading some of the comments from the contributors, you can see how The Bright Spot has not only become a destination for families, but a family in itself.  Dawne plans to leave sometime at the end of January and has high hopes for a buyer, in fact, she already has had some interest.  She tells me she wants "someone with a vision and commitment to early childhood education."  The play place is an indoor playground for kids to run around.  It also offers classes and drop off programs.  If you're interested in learning more or buying The Bright Spot, Dawne would like you to email her @ dawne@brightspotplayplace.com.

  • Meet a Connecticut Military Family in Honor of Veterans Day

    November 11, 2014

    Rhea Fernholz is one of thousands of Connecticut Veterans who have served our country.  She joined the U.S. Army in 1995 after high school as a clarinet player.  She tells me "music was pretty much my only interest in high school and I didn't have any plans after school."  She goes on to say, "once I learned the Army Band was an option, I never looked back." Rhea later changed jobs to Personnel Services, did four years active duty and now works as a civilian in Human Resources.  But Rhea isn't the only Veteran in her family.  She met her husband Chris while they were both stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.  "We have been through a lot of deployments, two in the last three years... it's extremely stressful on both sides" Rhea says.  "The member stresses about the family, while the family is stressed about the member." The two are now parents to John who's six and Evie who's three.  Rhea's explanation for what could happen at home on a bad day versus what could happen while being deployed really puts things into perspective.  "I have always ensured Chris' only responsibility was to come home safely" she tells me.  She goes on to say "I can handle anything that comes up while he's gone... the last thing I want him worried about in a combat zone is a flat tire on the family vehicle or the hot water heater going out, I got this."  Rhea lives with her family in Vernon and tells me "our email, facebook and phones have been pinging all day with 'thank you for your service' messages" on this Veterans Day.  She goes on to say "this is great, but the nation needs to remember and thank our older Veterans as well, they often did not have the appreciation when returning from service."  She also adds "families sacrifice a lot... so they should be included in any community activity as much as possible, especially when the member is deployed."  It's that kind of support that she and her husband Chris experience with friends they've made while serving "we just had a reunion of sorts after 16 years and it was like we never missed a day."  Thanks to all of our Veterans for their service and sacrifices, thank you for the time spent away from your families to protect ours, I sincerely appreciate it. 

  • McDonald's Hello Kitty Recall

    November 11, 2014

    Check the toy box if you've bought the kids a Happy Meal recently.

  • Acts of Kindness to Celebrate Thanksgiving

    November 7, 2014

    I've been trying to teach my children to be thankful for their blessings. 

  • Explaining Election Day to Your Kids

    November 4, 2014

    "Who are you voting for?" "What's a Governor?" "Can I race?"

  • Choosing a Preschool

    October 30, 2014

    Choosing a preschool feels a little like the college application process these days. A lot of options, paperwork and deadlines.  However, knowing what kind of education setting is the right fit for your child will give you the edge.

  • Affordable Ideas for Kids Play

    October 28, 2014

    The days are getting shorter and the temperatures cooler.

  • Math App

    October 23, 2014

    Math: Love it or hate it, at some point, our kids will likely need help wth their homework. What if I can't figure it out?  I wonder if I retained any of the lessons I learned back in school. "Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader" comes to mind! 

  • Unity Day 2014

    October 21, 2014

    "Make it orange, and make it end." It's the theme beyond tomorrow's Unity Day, a time set aside to stop bullying.

  • Going to School Sick

    October 14, 2014

    When I was working full time outside the home, I was allotted 5 paid sick days a year.  I generally didn't use them all before I was a parent for a number of reasons. 

  • Fire Prevention Day: Smoke Alarms Save Lives

    October 9, 2014

    Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives is the theme of this year's Fire Prevention Day. The key word in that phrase, being "working."  I spoke with East Haddam Fire Marshal, Don Angersola about fire safety and he says "smoke alarms should be checked monthly and batteries changed every 6 months (at the clock change)."

  • Like A Girl

    October 7, 2014

    When did doing anything "like a girl" become a negative connotation?

  • Flu Season

    October 2, 2014

    The leaves are changing, the apples are being picked and you can find a fair every weekend, but fall also means the start of flu season.  According to Debbie Staley, a nurse practioner at Sutay and Stewart Pediatrics in South Windsor, you should get a flu shot "anytime after Labor Day, October or November is ideal."  Because the viruses are constantly changing, the vaccine is "an educated guess" Staley says on what reseachers are seeing.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC,  everyone six months and older should get a flu shot, every year.  In fact, Staley says, "ideally, everyone in the house should get it if you have anyone under age 5, that includes caregivers." Staley says it's also important to note, if a child is under eight years old, and if it's their first flu shot, they'll need to get two shots, 30 days apart. Staley says years go they would recommend the shot for high risk groups, but since suggesting everyone six months and older get it, she "rarely sees any cases" in their practice.  You can contact your pediatrician or Primary Care Physician to schedule an appointment.  Many pharmacies including CVS and Walgreens are also offering flu shots, just be sure to check with your insurance company to make sure it's covered at a pharmacy.  Also, not all pharmacies carry the shot for children under eighteen, so be sure to ask. 

  • Like Mother, Like Daughter

    September 30, 2014

    You're your own worst critic.

  • My Friend Has Cancer

    September 25, 2014

    It was right after Christmas, 1988.

  • TV Time

    September 23, 2014

    I'm not a big fan of TV.

  • Why Nursery Rhymes Work

    September 18, 2014

    When nothing else seems to work, why does, "Hush little baby don't say a word...?"

  • Jack & Allie's

    September 16, 2014

    It's a cozy nook that doubles as a children's bookstore.

  • The Death of the Big American Family?

    September 11, 2014

    I come from a big family.  I am the oldest of four siblings.  But, how often do you here that anymore?  I feel like a family of 6, or more for that matter, is almost unheard of these days (unless we're talking about the Duggars!)  

  • Breastfeeding Support

    September 9, 2014

    A quarter of a million dollars... that's how much the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates it'll cost you to raise a child until they're 18 and that DOESN'T include college!

  • Adjusting to Preschool

    September 4, 2014

    Week one: Smiles and no tears. 

  • Brushing Babies Teeth

    September 2, 2014

    I know you're SUPPOSED to brush twice a day, floss and visit the dentist every 6 months, but I think this new recommendation seems like a bit much.

  • Road Trip with the Kids

    August 28, 2014

    "Are we there yet?"

  • Driving with Kids

    August 25, 2014

    It's probably like putting on makeup, eating and talking on your cell phone all at once, I'm talking about when your kids are in the car with you!

  • Tired Parents

    August 21, 2014

    The timing of this Parents magazine article couldn't be better.

  • Art Bra

    August 19, 2014

    Think catwalk, creativity and cancer survivors!  Tickets are still available to Art Bra 2014.

  • Temper Tantrums

    August 15, 2014

    I've been here before, aren't I supposed to be an expert by now?  So why do I feel like a first timer? 

  • Meal Train

    August 12, 2014

    It's a genius idea... and it's always necessary!

  • My Daughter's Masterpiece!

    July 24, 2014

    It's true, you have to keep an eye on your children every second in a parking lot, road, amusement park or store, the list goes on, but as any parent knows, there comes a time when "mommy has some chores to do" at home.  I always leave them in a childproof area to play, locking gates or closing doors to any area off limits.  In my experience, any parent who can sit with their child all day, supervised, either has outside help, or a house filled with dirty laundry, dishes and dust!

  • Farm Day

    July 17, 2014

    The look on my daughters' faces was priceless.

  • Parents: Do You Have a Will?

    July 15, 2014

    Who wants to think about death, when you've just brought new life into this world?

  • Postpartum Depression: Erasing the Stigma

    July 10, 2014

    If I had to pick one word to describe the experience of welcoming a new baby, it would have to be overwhelming.  But as moms know, there's not a"one size fits all" when it comes to parenting.  I still remember the range of emotions I felt when my first daughter was born, pure joy, unconditional love and even fear.  I remember thinking, "how can I take care of her?  The hospital is going to let me leave with this precious new baby?  What if I don't know what to do when she cries?"  I also balled my eyes out thanking the nurses and doctor for helping me through my labor on the way out.  "What's happening to me", they smiled and said, "hormones, it's normal."  But, I think it's hard to distinguish what's "normal" when every moms birth and postpartum experience is so different.  That's why I was surprised to read about the symptoms of postpartum depression in this story.  The mom who was featured, Katherine Stone, explained how there's not one red flag, but in fact, many.  I was impressed with her courage and how she responded to her diagnosis.  Katherine started a blog and eventually a successful nonprofit to erase the stigma behind postpartum depression.  I hope that by reposting her story and providing the link to her website, new moms won't be afraid to reach out and ask for help. 

  • We Made It!

    July 8, 2014

     It was like that scene in “Home Alone” when they’re running

  • Flying with Baby

    July 3, 2014

    Vacation is a whole new ballgame for us now.

  • When Mom Can't Afford to Work

    July 1, 2014

    If money WASN'T an option, would you choose to stay home with your children?

  • Mean Girls

    June 26, 2014

    There's always one "mean girl", a leader of the pack, the one who makes the decisions and attempts to control a group of followers.

  • Food Label Confusion

    June 24, 2014

    Great, more label reading, just what I wanted!

  • Mother of the Year

    June 19, 2014

    "It's a little overwhelming, I don't look at anything I've done as anything extraordinary." 

  • Who's Cool Now?

    June 17, 2014

    I NEVER felt like one of the cool kids growing up.

  • CT Teacher Doubles as Children's Book Author

    June 12, 2014

    Her students made her dreams of becoming an author come true!

  • Tick Check

    June 10, 2014

    It's become a part of our daily routine.

  • Bird Watching and a Playground!

    June 5, 2014

    I have been to plenty of parks in my day, but I have to say, this was one of the prettiest! 

  • Coventry Regional Farmers' Market

    June 3, 2014

    "It's opening day and there isn't a cloud in the sky", I told my husband I knew there would be a line of cars waiting to get in, but it's worth it!

  • MDA Hop-A-Thon

    May 29, 2014

    They'll be hopping, to help!

  • 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers

    May 27, 2014

    "Can I borrow the car?"

  • Don't Fry Day

    May 22, 2014

    I'm not going to lie, I love the sun.

  • Tips for Traveling with the Kids

    May 20, 2014

    "Are we there yet?"

  • Healthy Meals for Picky Eaters

    May 14, 2014

    Is meal-time a constant battle in your house?

  • Children's Book Week

    May 13, 2014

    My husband and I read to our daughter's every day.

  • Mother's Day Deals Featuring Animals!

    May 8, 2014

    Several area attractions featuring animals are offering Mother's Day deals!

  • Screen Free Week

    May 6, 2014

    I know a place where my cell phone still doesn't work.  There's no service.  No way to check emails or twitter or facebook.   And although I love technology, I also love that there's still a place I can go where it's not an option. I can decompress and just enjoy the sights and sounds.

  • Baby Gates Not Foolproof

    May 6, 2014

    They've come a long way since I was little.

  • The Other "F" word

    May 1, 2014

    It just makes sense if you think about it.

  • Free Cone

    May 1, 2014

    Welcome May with a free sweet treat!

  • Reading to Kids

    April 29, 2014

    My dad always read to my sisters and I when we were little. I remember him sitting in our hallway (so all three of us could hear)  reading countless nursery rhymes.  "Just one more dad, pleeease??!" we would say, and he would, there are worse things to be suckered into as a parent, right?  Fast forward a few years, as a parent of two, so far my oldest loves books.  My husband and I have been reading to her since she was a baby and are doing the same with our youngest.  I have to believe it's making a difference, because now at two and a half, she loves it when we read to her and always says, "let me read it" after and recites the basic story to us. 

  • Quassy Zoo

    April 29, 2014

    Kids won't be able to actually feed the animals, but they could pretend!

  • Kloter Farms Ice Cream Barn

    April 29, 2014

    I don't need an excuse for ice cream, how about you?

  • Common Core 101

    April 24, 2014

    I got schooled in Common Core.

  • Sticker Charts for Toddlers

    April 22, 2014

    I'm willing to try just about anything.

  • Easter Egg Hunt

    April 17, 2014

    The venue changed, but the competition is fierce.

  • Seasonal Allergies

    April 15, 2014

    It just might be the only unwelcome sign of spring: Seasonal Allergies.

  • Coloring Easter Eggs

    April 10, 2014

    I think it's only natural to want to continue some of the traditions you had growing up with your own kids.  Coloring Easter Eggs recently came up in a conversation at our house. My husband and I started reminiscing about how our parents would bring the PAAS Coloring kit home. I remember my mom cooking the eggs, but the most vivid memory I had is the smell! Not of the eggs, but of the vinegar used to color them. Yuck! My husband tells me he remembers eating them!  "What???!" I said to him. We never ate the eggs, in fact I've always hated hard boiled eggs and the smell that goes along with them but, I said, "are you kidding me?" He said no. It's funny how you (or I for that matter) just assume every family does things the same way.  I even said, "I'm calling my mother to make sure I didn't block this out, but I'm pretty sure we didn't eat those eggs!"  She confirmed that we would just leave them out as a decoration for Easter and then toss them.  To each his own.

  • Working Moms by the Generation

    April 8, 2014

    What is the real definition of a working mom?

  • Chicken Nugget Recall

    April 6, 2014

    A heads up for anyone who has chicken nuggets in their freezer.

  • Autism Awareness Day

    April 1, 2014

    Expect to see a whole lot of blue tomorrow in Connecticut and around the world!

  • Need More Sleep?

    March 27, 2014

    "I'm tired."

  • Bonus for Moms with High Risk Pregnancies

    March 25, 2014

    Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows just how much you get poked and prodded along the way.  There's the first visit to the OB/GYN when, at least for me, I was so excited and anxious and then they run down the list of tests they'd like to do, and I left feeling overwhelmed.  Instead of looking forward to those tiny fingers and toes, I was now paranoid about what COULD happen if I didn't eat the right thing or sleep on the right (left!) side.  To add to my already frazzled, nervous state and newfound pregnancy hormones, they utter three words I'd never heard before: Advanced Maternal Age.  I later laughed with family and friends about it, but at the time, I say, "I'm sorry, what?!" Advanced Maternal Age is the classification given to women who will be at least 35 years old when they deliver their baby. (The doctor tried to make me feel better about it, "it's just a term we use" but it was already out there: I'm old in baby-making years!)

  • And babies make... 8!

    March 21, 2014

    I often vent to my husband about the day to day challenges of raising two young daughters, but 6 children, 5 of them at once, WHOA!

  • Freezer Party for Second Time Moms

    March 20, 2014

    Traditionally, expectant moms get a baby shower for their first child and possibly a sprinkle for their second or third.

  • Childhood Vaccinations

    March 18, 2014

    The decision to vaccinate your children: a parents choice or public health risk?

  • Vacation Without Baby

    March 12, 2014

    There's sleepless nights, guilt and tantrums, but there's also pure happiness, pride, joy and unconditional love!

  • Your Favorite Pediatrician

    March 11, 2014

    Finding the right pediatrician is an important decision for any family. When I first found out I was pregnant, I asked my mom, who is a nurse in a pediatric office, what do I need to ask them? The list was a long one! The questions included their office hours and vaccination schedule. While all were equally important, she also said, just use your gut, make sure you really like them, and find out who else will be taking care of your child if they're on vacation or unavailable when your child is sick.

  • Is Breastfeeding Best?

    March 11, 2014

    For the record, I breast fed both of my daughters.

  • Daylight Savings Time

    March 6, 2014

    Daylight Savings Time starts this Sunday, March 9th. We'll lose an hour of daylight in the morning, but gain it at night.  While your cell phones and computers generally update themselves when the clock strikes two that early morning, what about your kids?

  • Entertaining the Kids on a Budget

    March 4, 2014

    Cabin fever has taken over our house!

  • DIY Crafts on a Budget with the Kids

    February 27, 2014

    Truth be told, I'm not very crafty.

  • Tylenol during Pregnancy Linked to Higher Risk of ADHD

    February 25, 2014

    For both of my pregnancies, I got headaches. There didn't seem to be any specific triggers for me, they just popped up randomly, and with a vengeance. I asked my OB/GYN what I could take, and they ok'ed Tylenol for me.  Frankly, I don't know what I would have done without it. These headaches were AWFUL and it was like I could barely concentrate until the pain subsided.

  • New mom joins Mommy Minute community

    February 24, 2014

    I have never loved and hated a pacifier so much, I live in yoga pants and love long walks with the kids (and dog!)

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