Category Archives: Smile

Why I bring my kids to gay pride events

gaypride

I supported and believed in basic human rights for LGBTQIA folks long before I had children. And, now that I have kids, and understand how relatively easy I have it by comparison, I believe it is just as important — if not more — to continue to stand with my gay friends and family and to show my own children that indeed love is love.

Large crowds make me uncomfortable, and you often won’t find me at large marches or protests, even if they are for causes I support in other ways. I am also vary weary of hostile opposition, and the mama bear in me wants to keep my kids away at all costs. However, I make an exception for gay pride and related events, because, my experience with them is always positive and enlightening.  Continue reading

Make your own $5 travel activity sets

Traveling with kids is a wonderful way to expose them to different cities, cultures and activities. However, while checking out a new location is fun and exciting, getting there, often, is anything but. Long waits at the airport, sitting in traffic, or taking a long train ride, are just a few things that make traveling tough for little ones.

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To make things easier, we parents look for ways to keep our kids, calm, entertained and happy. While this often means using tablets or other devices (something I’m not ashamed to admit using) to make our journey smoother, I prefer non-digital sources.

When my family traveled to Montreal last month, I needed away to keep my two kids happy without necessarily having to rely on screen-time. Luckily, my sister found creative and money-savvy ways to put together activity sets for my two boys. Using dollar-store finds and free Internet resources, she was able to produce each one for around $5. Depending on the age of your child, where you live and how much you want to put in your folder, this price could easily be less. Continue reading

My Montreal must-dos for families

Montreal is a fabulous city for families. From museums to playgrounds, there is something to satisfy children of all ages. The city, whose customs, culture and vibe is predominantly French, also provides a unique opportunity for American children to experience something new.

Montrealmustdos

On our long weekend in town, my children played with the locals at the park, learned about electricity, saw some old fossils and got a taste of the Montreal lifestyle. Read on to learn more about our journey, as well as pick up some pointers for your own trip. Continue reading

Thank you, class parents

Every class has one, or maybe two. They are the moms or dads who remind you of special events or nudge you about getting your money in for the class gift. They organize email lists and volunteer schedules. They do the grunt work so we all can shine.

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They are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly keeping track of the details, so the rest of us, who barely remember what day our kids have gym, can look like competent caretakers of our little ones. Continue reading

Poor husband can never find my yogurt (video)

I do the majority of food shopping in my home. An always exciting adventure, because I almost always have at least one small child with me. As any parent can attest, shopping with kids is rough, so when I get the chance to go by myself, or better yet, my husband goes to the store instead.

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Our grocery list varies little, and, most of the time, my husband has no trouble finding what we need. However, for whatever reason, whenever he goes shopping, he can never locate one item:

Yogurt. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Dear Miracle

To My Youngest,

Three years ago, you wasted no time vacating my womb. You had a world to explore and life to get living, and you weren’t letting a little thing like birth stand in your way. Nope, you cannonball-blasted your way out of my body and straight on to your next adventure.

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Things weren’t so smooth, at first. In your eagerness to baby born, you were met with some adversity. Your body fought hard to keep up with your tenacious spirit. Your strength, gifted doctors and the faith of loved ones, pulled you through. You were here to stay. Continue reading

Come for the fun, stay for the traditions

“My favorite part of Passover is the presents and the matzo treasure hunt,”  said my five-year-old, the other day.

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For the unfamiliar, during the seder, or ritual Passover meal, a piece of matzo (unleavened bread), is broken off and hidden. Traditionally, the younger family members are tasked with finding the piece of matzo (known as the afikomen), and may be rewarded with a gift. The size and amount of prizes given are at the discretion of the host family. Growing up, I remember getting a lot of books. I am pretty sure my kids are getting better stuff, but hey, that’s grandparents for you!

No matter our individual religions, most of us parents can lament the overblown nature of the holidays. I imagine many of my Christian friends are wondering how Easter got so consumerized, and how much money they will drop on baskets, eggs and other trinkets. I agree, it can all seem a bit much. Continue reading

A message to the class of 2018, from a 2030 parent

This post was sponsored by Basic Invite. All views expressed are my own.

Graduation

Dear seniors,

Hard to believe in just a few short months you will be done with high school and embarking on your next journey. You studied hard, you passed your classes, you did it! Perhaps you created senior announcements, letting the world know your off to college, or to the Peace Corps or to travel the world. You have a lifetime of adventures waiting for you to take the first step. Continue reading

Forgive me, world, for I have birthed a germ machine

Dear Friends, Family and Fellow Cold Sufferers,

I write this letter humbly and sincerely seeking your mercy for I have put forth into this world a host for all things germy, slimey, gooey and gross. This creature, known to many as simply “toddler,” oozes wherever he goes, bringing a warning of ick with every nose drip.

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“Keep him home,” the people warn. Spare us from his bacteria-covered hands and viral embraces. And keep him there, I often do, but this creature is a sneaky one, often showing no signs of yuck until you are smacked by the Flu.

So to my loved ones who are home sneezing; to my friends with sore throats; to those commuters who had the poor luck to sit near myself and germ magnet; to all of you, I say:

I am sorry

Continue reading

Bedrooms are for sleeping and for sex

BedroomsSex

Long before marriage and family was a possible thought in my brain, I watched an episode of a daytime talk show (I want to say it was Oprah), which would shape how I would eventually set up my home.

In this episode, a very famous decorator/designer (I want to say it was Nate Berkus), was the special guest, whose task was to revamp a couple’s home. I can’t recall what colors he painted their walls, or what artwork he picked for their living room or what curtains he hung on their windows. However, when it came to their bedroom, one thing the designer said planted itself in my brain:

“Bedrooms are for sleeping and for sex.” Continue reading