Looking Back: Birthday Celebrations For My Son

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Spring is almost here and in my house, that means it’s almost time for a birthday party…for a little boy–my youngest, no less. Every year he gets excited about six weeks beforehand and starts dropping not-very-subtle hints about what he wants for his birthday, and where he wants his party. This year he is turning the big 1-0 and he’s all about computers and baseball–if you can’t catch it or code it, it’s impossible to get much of his attention for very long. He wants a robotics and game design party–yes, this exists–but maybe because it’s a landmark year (ten feels special and monumental to me) this got me thinking about all the different parties we’ve had over the years (don’t worry, I’ve omitted any duplications).

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Giving An Apology

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With children, apologies are so simple. Usually a grown up–a parent or teacher, for example–say when it is called for: “say you’re sorry for hurting Johnny’s feelings.” Oh, OK. And then it happens, perhaps begrudgingly or with a pout, and 1-2-6 it’s over. Everyone is back at the sand table playing next to one another until the next infraction.

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Different Valentines Day Celebrations

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Valentines Day can be celebrated a number of different ways and it’s meaning and purpose changes as our lives and roles evolve. This does not diminish the significance, but it does change the context, so I thought I would share a few different approaches to Valentines Day that may spark some ideas, certainly, but mainly shows how Valentines Day has morphed over time and circumstance for me.

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Gifts When Meeting A New Baby

20130119-133050.jpgOne of my closest friends from childhood had a baby last week and I’m meeting him for the first time today. Suffice it to say, I’m beyond excited–first, I love babies and second, I remember getting the text last June that she was preggers and have been following this pregnancy with much joy and anticipation.

When thinking about a gift for a new, first baby I always go back to my first year arsenal of must-have items that saved my new-mommy tush from meltdowns, helped me cram in a much-needed shower or just added some joy to our daily reprieve. Here are some of those items.
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Gratitude Gift List A-Z

Gratitude Rock

Image Courtesy of Empowernetwork.com

As the end of the year nears I like to take stock and express my gratitude for all the gifts I am so blessed to enjoy. I have two healthy kids who constantly amaze me with their wit and humor, a resilient and devoted husband who loves me–flaws and all–a career I am passionate about, an extended family who are kind and endearing, friends who are more like family and a year that has uncovered a treasure trove of new experiences, personalities and adventures…some that have only just begun. My cup truly does run over.

When I was a teenager and got “pouty,” my Dad would have me say out-loud a gratitude list starting with the letter A going all the way through to the letter Z. I’ve been thinking of him quite a bit these last few weeks, so instead of my usual gift guide or list, I thought I would honor him and this tradition by putting together an A-Z list, and perhaps put some of my own unrest to bed for the New Year.

Happy New Year to you and yours…and Happy New Year, Dad xxoo.

I am grateful for…

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Totally Awesome Gifts for Babies, Kids and Teens

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This Holiday season I have a total of ten kids to buy for (one is still in-uterero), and that’s before I get to my own two. I love shopping for kids…no really, I do. What I don’t always love–but actually do appreciate in a weird kind of way–is how brutally honest kids can be about whether a gift truly is cool or not. They have no filter at all and don’t feel the need to pretend to love those argyle socks and brown braided belt. Why should they…psst: don’t get a kid a belt and socks from Crewcuts when they want a Transformer from Target. Anyway, I went on a search for some cool kid-picks that could pass-muster with even the most brutally honest recipient and I have to say I think there might even be one or two adult cross-overs in contention, (does that make them automatically uncool though??). *Sigh*

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One For Them, One For You: Book Gifts

Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Call me old-fashioned but there’s something about a reading a text with a cover and a spine that can be folded back and dog-eared that is so comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a number of books on my iPad and that was a great experience, but sometimes I need a real tactile read–I guess I’m book-polar. These books are some new and new-ish picks that make great gifts, and–as the title of this post suggests–ones you may also want to get for yourself: one for them and one for you.

Happy reading!

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Giving Back: Holiday Charities and Shopping

Over the next 31 days, it’s easy to get caught up in buying and acquiring. I feel incredibly lucky (thus far and knock wood) to have been able to provide my family with a holiday that includes delicious food, a warm house and a bunch of selections from their respective lists… but I know not everyone is as fortunate. Please take a few minutes to check out the opportunities to help other families during this festive season, I’ve included a few below.

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The Santa Dance

Santa Hat

image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My post today isn’t going to be a gift list or guide. Sorry in advance, although it IS slightly gifting related.

Before you continue reading any further, make sure there are only adults present–no children (or inner children) peeking behind you or reading over your shoulder. There are some “holiday spoilers” in this post, if you catch my drift. Alright, now that you’ve done that, I can share the rest of this with you.

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September’s Top Toys: Hot Picks For Fall

If you’re anything like me, you start holiday shopping in October so get ready for tomorrow…because it is ON. As luck would have it and as I do at the end of every month, I’m rounding up the the top toys — by popularity and rating as tracked by Amazon.com — across a number of categories and I’ve already earmarked a few ideas for my Christmas and Chanukah shopping lists.  Featured below are selections from: action & toy figures, dolls and doll accessories, construction & blocks, arts & craft, outdoor gym & swing sets, learning & educational toys, play vehicles and games. Bear in mind, the prices listed are “List Prices” however, on Amazon you can often find items deeply discounted (many of these featured items are), so make sure to check.

PS – Stay tuned for special Halloween posts coming soon too. Happy Fall!

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