Category Archives: Smile

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

‘Mom Life: Perfection Pending’ is the book all moms need

MomLifeBookCover

This post contains an affiliate link. I get a small commission based on purchases made from this website.

Motherhood is far from perfect. In fact, it is often downright difficult. Yet, despite the numerous resources available to new moms or moms-to-be, very few provide the raw, in-depth truth they seek. Maybe, it is because people are afraid of “scaring” moms. Well, women are pretty tough, and moms are about as strong as you can get. To borrow from “A Few Good Men,” not only can we handle the truth, we need it, badly.

Enter, Mom Life: Perfection Pending, the new book, from Absolute Publishing, authored by beloved blogger, writer and meme-extraordinaire, Meredith Ethington. Continue reading

How I use cooking to encourage independence

Raising children is a lifelong lesson in letting go. From the moment they are born, our instinct is to protect them, to shield them, to make their lives easier. We help them with as much as we can — not because we are overprotective — but, because we love them and want them to succeed.

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Ultimate success, however, comes by stepping back, and letting our kids do more on their own. Each age offers new opportunities for growth, and each family can decide what works best for them.

I look out for signs from my kids to guide me about when they might be ready to try new tasks. So, when my son, who is five, started insisting on making meatballs on his on, I let him. Continue reading

If toddlers had Facebook groups

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I am a member of several Facebook groups for moms. They have become so common, that poking fun of them has become standard practice. For better or worse, they have a huge influence on parents, and can be quite helpful. I know lots of parents who say they could not survive without them.

What if our little ones had the same access to Facebook (and knew how to read, write and engage in snarky banter)? What would their posts look like?

I imagine they would look something like this.

Continue reading

If moms had Pinterest in the 1980s

Social media has changed the way we do things for our kids. Birthday parties, especially, have become a bit over the top, as we parents try to mimic those beautiful pictures we see on Pinterest.

It’s hard to remember a time when parties were simpler, and nobody was making 5000 Moana statues for a two-year-old’s birthday party. Not that I’m dogging on anyone who does that, because, seriously, that is impressive.

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Before the Internet, the only people you had to impress were the people at your party, and you probably only saw them once in awhile anyway, so you didn’t care too much about what they thought.

My mom was a bit ahead of her time, when it came to birthday parties. We always had them in our house, complete with homemade desserts, craft projects and entertainment provided by friends and family. Continue reading

5 Reasons to visit Imagine That!!! children’s museum in N.J.

Editor’s note: In order to provide my readers with the best information, my family’s visit was compensated by the museum. All views expressed are my own.

Imagine That!!!! is a favorite destination for my kids, so when I learned the popular children’s museum in Florham Park, N.J.  was under new ownership — and getting a totally revamped design — I knew I had to check it out.

My family visited the museum over the break, and we were all thrilled by the wider space, updated play areas, expanded climbing section, new features and more.

5 Reasons To Visit Imagine That!!! (1)

Read on to see why Imagine That!!! is a must-visit for families in the New York/New Jersey metro area. Continue reading