Vacation II

by Maggie Lamond Simone

family bathing suitsIt’s good to get away.

The family unity experienced at the start of a vacation is a thing of beauty. The sense of expectation is high and positive attitudes abound. Vacations provide bonding opportunities for both parents and children that will last a lifetime. There is no fighting, no crying and very little whining

We try to vacation at least once a year. We usually go to beaches because I’ve been on a quest to find a conch shell on the beach for the last forty years or so. We’ve been to Maine (no conch shells), Cape Cod (no conch shells), and North Carolina (no conch shells.)

With each conch shell failure, I become more dejected. It bothers my husband almost as much, I think. He hates to see me sad, because he loves me and also because my clutter tends to worsen. “Hey, here’s a thought!” he helpfully chimed in during this year’s planning process. “Let’s find out where the conchs are, and go there!” I ignored his sarcasm and booked a trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida. [Read More…]

A Mid-Life’s Summer Night

by Lori Pelikan Strobel

sleepIt’s 10:30 p.m. The kitchen is cleaned, and the family room picked up. They are both ready for tomorrow’s life of meals, random newspaper circulars, and at least a dozen water glasses left half full lying around both rooms.

The dog, Louie, has been put out for the evening. We both climb the stairs to finally to go to sleep. My husband, already snoring peacefully, has his earphones on and plugged into his Ipad that is now flopped haphazardly onto his stomach. As Louie jumps onto the bed, I prepare my nightly ritual for sleep.

“Boy, it’s so hot in here.” I lower the thermostat before changing into my pajamas. I stare into my closet, trying to conjure an outfit I will wear to work tomorrow. Then, off to the bathroom I plod for the beauty regimen. Teeth brushed and flossed—check. Contacts out, eye make-up off, face washed—check. [Read More…]

Happy First Year to My Twinsies

by DeAnna Scott

birthannouncement2

I’m exhausted.  I am sitting here surrounded by birthday presents, picking pieces of Gigglebellies carrot cake out of my hair, feet aching from an afternoon of running around, stomach rumbling because I forgot to eat and two 1 year olds safely tucked away in their cribs.  All in all, the first year birthday party was a complete success.  The guests enjoyed themselves and we survived.  The day wasn’t without its hiccups, but much like this first year, it has ended beautifully.

I honestly think part of my exhaustion this day is the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on these past several weeks remembering the journey that began one year and nine months ago.  It was then we learned our surrogate, Jess, was pregnant with our twins.   The absolute profoundness of our experiences, since we found out, makes me heady; weepy and excited, melancholy and cheerful – but totally intoxicated in awe and wonder! [Read More…]

Comfort Food

by Tracy Franz

comfort foodWhen I told a friend, a fellow American, that our family was moving to Canada from Japan, she exclaimed immediately, “Oh—they have a kind of cookie there that I like very much!”

This amused me, and then I thought later that this is also how I most often recall places I have been but do not know well.

In England, a savory pastry that you can eat with your hands as you walk through the park, trailing crumbs for gray pigeons. In France, pungent red wine (legally!) sipped from a glass in a restaurant when I was barely 12 years old. In Mexico, cheese curds—soft and fresh and salty. In Thailand, a coconut curry.

[Read More…]

Reflections of a Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM)

by Melanie Elliott

SAHMI became a mom at 45.  It wasn’t by design.  I met my husband at 35, married at 38, and we tried to start a family six months after we married.  To our surprise, that was no easy task.

After three invitros, two inseminations, a frozen embryo transfer and after mixing in four years of acupuncture, various shamans and healers, along with several miscarriages and a too-long process to adopt a baby from China, we finally became parents six ½ years later when we brought our son home from Ethiopia in August 2010. [Read More…]

Being a Parent is Not a Popularity Contest

by Marc Parsont

Popularity contestBeing a parent is not a popularity contest.

It is not a one man or woman operation either. You never know what challenges you’ll face, which is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.  If you can face your fears and anxieties, you might just make an awesome parent.

Your children won’t recognize this until you’re really old, but in the meantime, your job is to make them horrified to have you as parents (just like we did to our parents).  The mere possibility that you might embarrass them in front of their peers is the lever you need to survive their growth to maturity.

So here are my few parenting thoughts:

Take as many baby pictures now as possible.  Make sure they are in silly positions/situations/clothing.  Keep a copy handy for when guests and relatives come by.  I guarantee they won’t misbehave.

Use the photographs of them sitting on the toilet as adequate backups. [Read More…]

By |July 14th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Midlife Foibles!|Tags: , |0 Comments

Little Kids, Big Summer

by Andrea Lynn

Andrea Lynn's kidsSummer beckons, and it feels like we are making the great leap this year from the familiar to the unknown. Claire’s leaving kindergarten behind and heading to Grade 1 in September, and Anna is leaving preschool and heading for kindergarten. The summer represents the gulf between the old and the new, the last vestige of Little Kid Land before they are in school every day all day for, oh, the rest of their lives.

I suppose I’m nostalgic, but right now it feels great. Leaving the daycare (and the fees, oh the fees!) behind. Good-bye to the arcane rules of preschool, the push-pull of teachers who reject last season’s sunscreen and Anna’s favourite crocs, who dictate which cupcakes are acceptable and what toys are not allowed at Show and Tell. I know one day I’ll look back with great fondness and nostalgia, but right now I’m ready for it all to be done. I’m eager to ease up a little on the very cautious approach to early childhood education and embrace the chaos that is elementary school. [Read More…]

Vacation I

by Maggie Lamond Simone

family bathing suitsThe purpose of a vacation, they say, is to make us feel better. It is an opportunity to escape from real life for awhile, to pamper ourselves, to do things we ordinarily don’t do. It is meant to restore our mental health so that the usual daily routine isn’t so bad. That’s why we look forward to it each and every year.

This year, with the kids a little bit older, we had a family meeting to discuss where to go. After some debate and discussion, we decided as a family to go to the ocean. After making said decision, the husband and children then went about their lives, their jobs apparently complete. [Read More…]

The Language We Use (Regarding My Letter from Shutterfly.com)

by Rebecca Upton

I love Shutterfly.com.

I live in a very rural community and therefore both really love and really rely upon online ordering for just about everything.  When I found out that you could order groceries online, it was miraculous.

I am not a huge fan of shopping to begin with and once I found myself living in a rural part of the country as a result of my job, managing my life online, the anonymity and rapidity of service seemed the logical solution and immensely appealing.

So, it was a bit of a surprise when last week Shutterfly sent me an apology – a personal apology.  Not because I had an erroneous order of photographs, note cards or address labels.  Not because I had a missing set of personalized gifts or family calendar unsent.  Not because a gift didn’t arrive in time for the Mother’s Day holiday that was on the horizon.

Shutterfly sent me an apology because the week prior they had congratulated me on becoming a mother! Great news, one might expect! How thoughtful! It was exciting! Except for the fact that I don’t have (but am working extremely hard to have) my own child/ren. [Read More…]

The Oy’s and Joys of Summer

by Wendy Sue Noah

It’s summer time!  YAY!

Wendy Sue Noah's kids at the beach

I used to say, when I was growing up, that things were very different.  Not only were we friendly with our neighbors, with all day play and sleep overs to boot, but if I disappeared for hours to explore the woods in our backyard and play with the inchworms or hang out in my favorite tree, there were no worries or concerns.

Now, our reality is so very different.  Even sending my kids to school all day, I have to go into faith when I kiss them goodbye, praying that these school shootings don’t reveal themselves in our town. [Read More…]

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