Erin Loechner

Juggling an active Internet career with writing, speaking, designing, and styling, Erin Loechner can be found daily at DesignForMiniKind.com, a one-stop resource for loads of pint-sized inspiration, the latest-and-greatest products, and a daily dose of mom-friendly design. She also pens DesignForMankind.com, an art/design website honored by The London Times as one of the top 50 design sites in the world. Her latest project? A newborn daughter nicknamed Bee -- her favorite design yet. Erin lives in the midwest with her film-editing husband, Ken, two adorable pups, and of course, little Bee. Follow Erin on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

How We're Teaching Our Baby Chinese

Bee seems to be a typical first child – incredibly active, very verbal and filled to the brim with endless curiosity. She’s the type of baby who entered her tantrum stage early, quickly forming opinions about what color fruit she’d like, which boots she wants to wear and – perhaps the oddest tantrum we’ve experienced – where the pocket on her shirt is placed (I know). For Bee, every moment is an opportunity to learn something about the world in which she lives. And for me – her mother – I relish teaching her that the world in which she lives is much bigger than her own backyard.

Earlier this year, my husband expressed interest in teaching her Mandarin Chinese. She loves learning new words and phrases and the timing seemed perfect to dip our toes into the waters of exposing her to a second language. The only problem? Neither of us know a lick of Chinese, and the process of learning side-by-side seemed rather intimidating. Here was our solution:

The First Time She Hugged Me

I’ve always listened at a distance to mothers sharing their birth stories – tales of joy and triumph and tears – explaining that beautiful, weighty feeling of a baby being laid on their chest, freshly swaddled and newly birthed.

And as emotional as that moment was for me, it pales in comparison to a milestone I hold far more dear: the first time my daughter hugged me.

baby-hugs

5 Ways We Make Bee Laugh

February can be a daunting month. Despite the Valentine’s Day-fueled messages of love and commitment, flowers and candy, it’s often bitter cold here in the Midwest with no sign of spring in sight. The dark gray skies seem to stretch the day longer than ever and both Bee and I have been extra restless in these parts. What’s a mama to do? Sip a healthy dose of laughter, the best medicine of all. Here are 5 ways we’re making Bee (and ourselves!) laugh on these dark, wintery days…

wrestling

Saving Bathtime

Thanks to Disney for sponsoring this post and giving me the Minnie Mouse Water Squirtees for free.

Bee has a love/hate relationship with bathtime, as she’s just young enough to enjoy the splashes and suds, but just old enough to understand that bathtime signals nighttime (of which Bee is not at all a fan). This means I spend a fair amount of time crossing my fingers during the minutes leading up to her evening bath: Will tonight be a good night or a bad night? A bath of belly laughter or of kick-filled tantrums?

bee's bath time

Bee, Our Valentine

Dear Bee,

This morning, your father and I were trying to decide if we should celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, weighing the pros and cons distractedly as we watched you jump from the couch to the ottoman, to the couch again. We didn’t have a babysitter lined up and Valentine’s Day has never been our choice holiday to celebrate. Flowers and chocolate and balloons? Eh.

But this year, something feels different. This year, love feels like it just might be worthy of the biggest celebration yet…

Rocket Fuel