parents

The Greatest Gift

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my Dad and me circa 1989 (or ’90), Anguilla, BWI

The parent / child relationship is one of beauty and complexity. I am reminded lately of the added layers this bond must sustain when daughters start experimenting with their freedom and sexuality in adolescence. I won’t go into why I am reminded–those aren’t my stories to tell and I believe they are sacred to those individuals. What I will say is my family is near and dear to me and I am a mother and a wife. Forgive me for sharing the obvious, but before becoming a mother or a wife I was (and still am) a daughter and did a fair share of experimenting and testing bonds and bounds. My circumstances were not common, but they were not unique–nor were they often discussed until years after some damage had been done. Perhaps someday I’ll write about that (maybe, I’m still debating).

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Giving Each Other A Break

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Copyright: Igor Zakowski / Shuttershock.com

I jinxed myself. Friday night we were entertaining another family at our house. My daughter and I were affectionately snuggling and hugging. One of our guests (the mom, also a mother to a daughter) made a comment about how she hopes to one day be as close as we are; and in response my daughter or I said that although we may fight, I make it a point not to yell or raise my voice at her. JINX!

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A Dance With My Father

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The sad news about Valerie Harper‘s diagnosis has me reflecting about my father. He also had a brain cancer, however the time between his diagnosis and his passing was approximately eleven weeks. I don’t know if we were profoundly lucky or if were really short-changed because of that compressed timeframe…probably a bit of both.

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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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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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What I’m Wishing For

As parents, we always gather lists from our children, nieces and nephews but when do we get to put together a wish list of our own?  When we start our own blog, that’s when!  This is the ultimate indulgence, agreed, but it’s also potentially a service to you, the reader, to see what items I’m currently obsessed with.  Fair warning…I’m dreaming big this holiday (not like world peace dreaming big) but I am putting it all out there.

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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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Celebration Ideas For Entering Womanhood

So it’s been a while since my last post, I know. But this one is a doosey I can assure you and may explain my absence in part… “Entering Womanhood” means different things to different people and in different cultures and I will spare you the gory details of what it means in mine but suffice it to say it’s one to be celebrated. I meant to write this earlier in the weekend but I kept crying every time I started.

However this moment is “checked off”–as a social occasion, a rite of passage, or a biological one–it’s bound to be emotional and one you don’t want to forget. So remember the day, month and year and do something special together. The idea is to do something experiential, open the lines of communication and begin a new dialogue that hopefully will continue as she–and you–embark on this new period (pardon the pun) of her life together. Most importantly she will come away knowing she can come to you and that you’re there for her no matter what. As my husband and I say to each other: All in, as is. In my experience, that’s what love is, any way you slice it.

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Summer’s Top Rated Toys Ages 0-13: August 2012

20120813-232546.jpgAs promised, here are more top toy picks culled from Amazon. This time I selected five gems in each age group based on customer ratings (my sorting was 4+ stars–many with 5–and most had to have at least 100 reviews). I also tried make sure not to duplicate any products featured back in July–but feel free to check out that post again here. I’ve also included some personal gifts i gave to my own kids this month that did not make the top five list, but did make my family very happy. Enjoy!

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