Archive for December, 2010

>What Was Your Best Christmas Ever, Mommy?

915

>Did you like to eat turkey when you were little?
Did Santa ever put coal in your stocking, Mommy?
Did you get to stay up ‘til midnight on New Year’s Eve?

My daughters love to hear stories about how I spent the holidays when I was young. And I like to indulge them, since most of the time it’s terribly difficult to convince them that I ever was young in the first place! This season, the big question has been, “What was your best Christmas ever, Mommy?” Their query has given me the great pleasure of re-living real highlights of past Christmases—and also embellishing the remembrances with made-up details about seeing reindeer on the roof, cleaning up Santa’s cookie crumbs, and dancing with elves at the North Pole (Yes, I know I’ll be on the naughty list for stretching the truth that far!)

I realize how blessed I am to have so many happy holiday memories:

• I tell my kids all about my youngest years, celebrating a Danish Christmas by waiting ‘til Christmas Eve to cut down our tree, and decorating it with my cousins while my grandmother played carols on the piano. We each ate a bowl of rise a la mande (a Danish rice pudding-type dish) and hoped that our portion would be the one with the hidden almond, which netted its finder a giant chocolate Santa Claus each year.

• I share stories about being a college student spending a semester in Seville, Spain, and having the joy of taking my visiting parents and brother to see an authentic Flamenco dance performance on Christmas Eve. My kids giggle when I tell them about how that same year I partook in the Spanish New Year’s Eve tradition of eating one grape for every time the bell tolled at midnight. The dozen grapes is said to bring luck for each of the 12 months of the New Year. My girls like to see how many grapes they can fit in their pint-sized mouths—five is the standing record, I believe.

• I think about each of my daughters’ first Christmas–the excitement of our first Noel with a first-born child and the peace of knowing our family was complete when our second daughter was born two weeks before Christmas in 2005. I show the girls the special tree ornaments we received as gifts from loving grandparents upon each of their births and the prized collection of homemade ornaments that the girls themselves have hand-crafted over the years.

“Yes, but which is the best Christmas of all?” they insist. When challenged to think in terms of superlatives and select the very best of the best, I realize an amazing thing. I am living it. Right now.

Today is the day I get to watch my five and seven year olds jump out of bed with joyful anticipation about where their Elf on the Shelf will be hiding, after his long trip to the North Pole and his daily report to Santa Claus on their holiday wishes. This week is the week in which every day we will spend time together, following our Advent Calendar’s family-centered directions to “play a card game” or “eat breakfast for dinner” or “stay up late to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV.” This month, I have the unique pleasure of watching dance parties to Christmas carols (and to Lady Gaga!) and helping my little pastry chefs decorate dozens of cookies for spades of holiday parties. This year, I feel the joy of Christmas through the magic of two little girls who still believe in Santa and want to leave carrots on the driveway for his reindeer on Christmas Eve.

I know that this is a precious moment in time in my life—one that will not last forever or ever be quite the same again. For the love of fancy Gingerbread Houses and squeals of sheer delight on Christmas morning, this Christmas is the very best Christmas ever!

This post was written for an entry into the baby clothes holiday writing contest. One lucky blogger will win a $50 Amazon gift card! For a chance to win see the baby clothes blog for more information.

>What Was Your Best Christmas Ever, Mommy?

775

>Did you like to eat turkey when you were little?
Did Santa ever put coal in your stocking, Mommy?
Did you get to stay up ‘til midnight on New Year’s Eve?

My daughters love to hear stories about how I spent the holidays when I was young. And I like to indulge them, since most of the time it’s terribly difficult to convince them that I ever was young in the first place! This season, the big question has been, “What was your best Christmas ever, Mommy?” Their query has given me the great pleasure of re-living real highlights of past Christmases—and also embellishing the remembrances with made-up details about seeing reindeer on the roof, cleaning up Santa’s cookie crumbs, and dancing with elves at the North Pole (Yes, I know I’ll be on the naughty list for stretching the truth that far!)

I realize how blessed I am to have so many happy holiday memories:

• I tell my kids all about my youngest years, celebrating a Danish Christmas by waiting ‘til Christmas Eve to cut down our tree, and decorating it with my cousins while my grandmother played carols on the piano. We each ate a bowl of rise a la mande (a Danish rice pudding-type dish) and hoped that our portion would be the one with the hidden almond, which netted its finder a giant chocolate Santa Claus each year.

• I share stories about being a college student spending a semester in Seville, Spain, and having the joy of taking my visiting parents and brother to see an authentic Flamenco dance performance on Christmas Eve. My kids giggle when I tell them about how that same year I partook in the Spanish New Year’s Eve tradition of eating one grape for every time the bell tolled at midnight. The dozen grapes is said to bring luck for each of the 12 months of the New Year. My girls like to see how many grapes they can fit in their pint-sized mouths—five is the standing record, I believe.

• I think about each of my daughters’ first Christmas–the excitement of our first Noel with a first-born child and the peace of knowing our family was complete when our second daughter was born two weeks before Christmas in 2005. I show the girls the special tree ornaments we received as gifts from loving grandparents upon each of their births and the prized collection of homemade ornaments that the girls themselves have hand-crafted over the years.

“Yes, but which is the best Christmas of all?” they insist. When challenged to think in terms of superlatives and select the very best of the best, I realize an amazing thing. I am living it. Right now.

Today is the day I get to watch my five and seven year olds jump out of bed with joyful anticipation about where their Elf on the Shelf will be hiding, after his long trip to the North Pole and his daily report to Santa Claus on their holiday wishes. This week is the week in which every day we will spend time together, following our Advent Calendar’s family-centered directions to “play a card game” or “eat breakfast for dinner” or “stay up late to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV.” This month, I have the unique pleasure of watching dance parties to Christmas carols (and to Lady Gaga!) and helping my little pastry chefs decorate dozens of cookies for spades of holiday parties. This year, I feel the joy of Christmas through the magic of two little girls who still believe in Santa and want to leave carrots on the driveway for his reindeer on Christmas Eve.

I know that this is a precious moment in time in my life—one that will not last forever or ever be quite the same again. For the love of fancy Gingerbread Houses and squeals of sheer delight on Christmas morning, this Christmas is the very best Christmas ever!

This post was written for an entry into the baby clothes holiday writing contest. One lucky blogger will win a $50 Amazon gift card! For a chance to win see the baby clothes blog for more information.

>High Hopes for an Imperfect New Year

481

>When I was a child, I adored every bit of my mother, from her kinky blonde hair to her bumpy thighs. Not the most flattering description, right? On the contrary—I truly thought those parts of my mom were lovable, wonderful and perfect! Let me explain.

Now that I am a mom myself, I find myself with choices everyday. Clean the kitchen floor or go to the pool? Work out or play a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos? Spend an hour cooking dinner or swing on a swing alongside my daughter?

The answers are obvious, right? They are to me. I’ve come to the conclusion that cooking and cleaning is a waste of my kids’ childhood. And while before guests arrive, I do often engage in furious rounds of throw-the-toys-in-the-basket and silently curse the results of my “let it go” attitude, I know that I keep a clean-enough house, a healthy, if non-gourmet kitchen, and a whole lot of savored moments with my daughters.
I learned all this from the mom I grew up with.

These days, her hair is smooth and well-coifed. I know this is the way she prefers it, but I am grateful that when I was a kid and wanted her to swim with me, she was okay with letting the pool water and humidity cause her some frizz. Likewise, I vividly recall the days she dedicated to taking me and my brother to baseball games and children’s museums, but don’t remember a bit whether our house was clean or messy on any given day. Neither did it ever cross my mind how her figure compared to those of other moms. I do, however, remember thinking that the bumps in her thighs were so soft and hoping that my legs would be just like hers when I grew up.

These days, cellulite on my thighs is no longer my fondest wish. Yet, knowing that I loved everything about my mom—and that she loved me enough not to let bad hair days and imperfectly-toned legs keep her from sharing in the things my brother and I loved as children—still makes me want to be like her in every important way.

My dreams for 2011 are big! Along with the honor of raising the two most interesting people I know, I am under contract to write a book about helping kids and teens develop skills for assertive anger expression. Writing this book is a life-goal come true! The challenge for me—and for most women I know—will be in finding a healthy balance between all of the things I want to do and all of the things that need to be done.
As a New Year dawns and I think about the kind of person I want to be throughout the inevitably busy-crazy days, the first item on my 2011 Resolutions List will the mom-inspired mantra:

You are a human being, not a human doing.

All the rest, I feel certain, will fall imperfectly in line.

Oprah Winfrey Networkif (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget(‘808bbc2c-6ce5-45cd-9577-e76609e052c0′);The New Oprah Winfrey Network

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network blogging program, for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

>High Hopes for an Imperfect New Year

1206

>When I was a child, I adored every bit of my mother, from her kinky blonde hair to her bumpy thighs. Not the most flattering description, right? On the contrary—I truly thought those parts of my mom were lovable, wonderful and perfect! Let me explain.

Now that I am a mom myself, I find myself with choices everyday. Clean the kitchen floor or go to the pool? Work out or play a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos? Spend an hour cooking dinner or swing on a swing alongside my daughter?

The answers are obvious, right? They are to me. I’ve come to the conclusion that cooking and cleaning is a waste of my kids’ childhood. And while before guests arrive, I do often engage in furious rounds of throw-the-toys-in-the-basket and silently curse the results of my “let it go” attitude, I know that I keep a clean-enough house, a healthy, if non-gourmet kitchen, and a whole lot of savored moments with my daughters.
I learned all this from the mom I grew up with.

These days, her hair is smooth and well-coifed. I know this is the way she prefers it, but I am grateful that when I was a kid and wanted her to swim with me, she was okay with letting the pool water and humidity cause her some frizz. Likewise, I vividly recall the days she dedicated to taking me and my brother to baseball games and children’s museums, but don’t remember a bit whether our house was clean or messy on any given day. Neither did it ever cross my mind how her figure compared to those of other moms. I do, however, remember thinking that the bumps in her thighs were so soft and hoping that my legs would be just like hers when I grew up.

These days, cellulite on my thighs is no longer my fondest wish. Yet, knowing that I loved everything about my mom—and that she loved me enough not to let bad hair days and imperfectly-toned legs keep her from sharing in the things my brother and I loved as children—still makes me want to be like her in every important way.

My dreams for 2011 are big! Along with the honor of raising the two most interesting people I know, I am under contract to write a book about helping kids and teens develop skills for assertive anger expression. Writing this book is a life-goal come true! The challenge for me—and for most women I know—will be in finding a healthy balance between all of the things I want to do and all of the things that need to be done.
As a New Year dawns and I think about the kind of person I want to be throughout the inevitably busy-crazy days, the first item on my 2011 Resolutions List will the mom-inspired mantra:

You are a human being, not a human doing.

All the rest, I feel certain, will fall imperfectly in line.

Oprah Winfrey Networkif (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget(‘808bbc2c-6ce5-45cd-9577-e76609e052c0′);The New Oprah Winfrey Network

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network blogging program, for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

>School Dance Wars on Modern Family

847

>ABC’s Modern Family gives me some of my best laughs…and also some of the best passive aggressive fodder.  Check out this clip from Gloria and Claire’s territory war over the school dance:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/HJ0q5v7XQUDBJnXTrh3Y2A/508/609

My Baby Clothes Boutique has partnered with me to provide articles to the parenting community. Check out their site the next time you need adorable baby clothes, photo perfect baby headbands, or even just a warm baby hat for winter. They have it all!

>School Dance Wars on Modern Family

481

>ABC’s Modern Family gives me some of my best laughs…and also some of the best passive aggressive fodder.  Check out this clip from Gloria and Claire’s territory war over the school dance:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/HJ0q5v7XQUDBJnXTrh3Y2A/508/609

My Baby Clothes Boutique has partnered with me to provide articles to the parenting community. Check out their site the next time you need adorable baby clothes, photo perfect baby headbands, or even just a warm baby hat for winter. They have it all!

>A Game Changer for Cyberbullies

469

>Check out this story featured on The Today Show:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

I happened to be watching this morning during the chaos of getting my daughters ready for school.  We all put down our breakfast spoons to listen to what Ally had to say and to hear how she responded with courage and strength to this painful and public humiliation.  Nothing my girls will learn in school today will compare with this great, real-life example of taking time to feel your feelings and then using them to propel you to action.  In Ally’s case, she did exactly what all the bullying experts advise–she took action quickly and courageously and stood up for herself in an assertive way.  Reporter Jeff Rosen calls her courage a game changer–I can only hope that both those who cowardly bully others and those who bravely stand up to mean kids will hear her experience and be moved by it.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/40565123#40565123

A designer clothes boutique has partnered with me to help bring articles about parenting, bullying, and anger-expression styles to their community.  The next time you are in the market for trendy baby clothing, including unique headbands, baby hats, and fashion-forward pettiskirts and tutus for little ones, please check them out.

>A Game Changer for Cyberbullies

759

>Check out this story featured on The Today Show:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

I happened to be watching this morning during the chaos of getting my daughters ready for school.  We all put down our breakfast spoons to listen to what Ally had to say and to hear how she responded with courage and strength to this painful and public humiliation.  Nothing my girls will learn in school today will compare with this great, real-life example of taking time to feel your feelings and then using them to propel you to action.  In Ally’s case, she did exactly what all the bullying experts advise–she took action quickly and courageously and stood up for herself in an assertive way.  Reporter Jeff Rosen calls her courage a game changer–I can only hope that both those who cowardly bully others and those who bravely stand up to mean kids will hear her experience and be moved by it.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/40565123#40565123

A designer clothes boutique has partnered with me to help bring articles about parenting, bullying, and anger-expression styles to their community.  The next time you are in the market for trendy baby clothing, including unique headbands, baby hats, and fashion-forward pettiskirts and tutus for little ones, please check them out.

>Passive Aggressive Gifts

27

>’Tis the season for gift-giving galore!  Have you ever given someone a passive aggressive gift–you know, the kind that sends an insulting message, but is wrapped with a beautiful bow to give the appearance of being something wanted?  Have you ever been the recipient of such a gift?

Use the Comments section below to tell us your story of passive aggressive giving and receiving.

>Passive Aggressive Gifts

0

>’Tis the season for gift-giving galore!  Have you ever given someone a passive aggressive gift–you know, the kind that sends an insulting message, but is wrapped with a beautiful bow to give the appearance of being something wanted?  Have you ever been the recipient of such a gift?

Use the Comments section below to tell us your story of passive aggressive giving and receiving.

Go to Top