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.

She Let Me Know

I remember the first time my girlfriend mentioned to me that her daughter had – at 13 months – transitioned into a big girl bed. My eyes widened as curiosity grew: “How did you know she was ready?”

My girlfriend smiled with a wink, responding simply: “She let me know.”

Cooking with Bee

One of my favorite things about weekends is our ability to stretch out into the day a bit more than usual. Weekdays can be frenzied and rushed, a mix of playdates and commitments and the general juggling act of dinner-on-table-in-twenty-minutes-or-less.

This past weekend, we all slowed a bit – pausing for impromptu playground swinging and flushed cheeks and dirty feet. And when the clock struck 4 p.m., I asked Bee if she wanted to come in to help me cook dinner.

baby legs on kitchen counter

Expecting the Best

I’ve lived most of my life with low expectations – always swimming below the surface, just under the radar. It’s a protective layer for me, a shield from the potential discomfort of being disappointed or swallowed by, I don’t know, a seagull or something. It’s also kept me from basking on the shore, spread out and vulnerable like a starfish in the midst of a luxurious nap. (And in these early days of baby-rearing, who doesn’t want a nap?)

But somewhere along the line, I’ve confused low expectations with zero faith. I’ve navigated parenting with a “What if?” gnat buzzing in my ear, always anticipating the worst: public tantrums and sleepless nights and stressed out spouses. And yes, these do arrive. But…

bee

3 Life Lessons We're Learning From Dumbo

Bee’s favorite Disney movie is Dumbo and, my goodness, do we have that sweet baby elephant to thank for getting us through some very long teething days (and nights!) as of late. For the past two weeks, we’ve cuddled to the song of Baby Mine, laughed at the circus clown performances and cried at the thought of Dumbo’s over-sized ears being anything less than celebrated to the fullest.

And the more I watch this sweet film, the more I realize how many life lessons are nestled throughout tales of peanuts and mice, mothers and adversity…

dumbo-and-bee

Baby's First Passport Photo

Our tiny family of three is traveling to Singapore in May, so we’ve been spending the bulk of our free time gathering paperwork for Bee’s first passport. The process is relatively quick and painless (especially after reading fellow Disney Baby blogger Mary’s excellent tips here!), but we did experience one surprising hang-up: the official passport photo.

Rocket Fuel