For personal family reasons, I have had a difficult past week with lots of tears shed and feelings of despair and sadness. Many friends went above and beyond and have been an incredible support. Thank you for listening, thank you for the wine, thank you for the lunch, thank you for check ins and calls, and thank you for being my shoulder to lean on. It means the world to me, so thank you.
It is also during these times that I miss my parents the most. Growing up, whenever I got upset (either by throwing a temper tantrum or having my feelings hurt), my father would type up letters with some big moral and place them on my pillowcase. My father (the smartest man in the world) is also incredibly sensitive, wise, articulate, and thoughtful. It was during those hard times that I looked forward to his letters the most. Especially right now, I so wish I had these letters and could relate them to my feelings.
So when I came across this book “Letters to My Baby” it tugged at my heart strings and I had to buy it. Not that they are similar to my father’s typed up letters, but they are a great keepsake and something a child can have forever. Write now, read later, treasure forever. They are little paper time capsules that contain 12 letters where a parent can write to their child. Each letter has a different prompt for the parent to write about, and then you date, seal and keep the letters for your child. I love this idea.
Vintage Air Mail look in a great little booklet.
For the holidays, Cruzzie was gifted President Obama’s children’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” (I’m not sure how iI missed this for so long… it was published in 2010.) The book is thoughtful, educational, emotional, and beautiful. The first time I read it to my kids, I cried (yes, I am prone to crying, but still — this book is powerful). When you read the book, you can hear President Obama’s voice — and what an awe inspiring and powerful speaker he is (can we talk about his farewell address? We were in tears. How I will miss him!). This book is a must have for everyone –it is also a perfect gift.
This book is very timely It is also a good reminder of how many strong people have shaped our history.
So far this summer, I have failed at most of my motherly duties of teaching my kids how to: (1) tie their shoes (big fail), (2) do their school summer math workbook (I am a nagging Jewish mother, my GOD, I want to punch MYSELF), (3) become a self-sufficient swimmer (the fact my younger Toosh is in the water at all is a huge success), (4) ride a two-wheel bike (what was I thinking – at least I succeeded last summer with Cruz), etc….the list goes on and on of what I have failed at. The one thing that I feel proud of in regards to my mothering is having the difficult conversation about race, religion, injustice, and the world current events with my kids. The thoughts and conversations have been far from perfect, but they have been a start. Although at times it feels rather forced or weird, it is a dialogue that we want to have with our kids. They are mixed children, in terms of religion, race, and culture, and we want them to see the world as a WHOLE. With the tragedies occurring in our world / country with race relations, it is imperative that we have real conversations about what is happening.
I recently found four books (at the library) that have been helpful with our daily conversations; I want the kids to understand that even though people may look different or have different traditions, they are the same, and should be treated with the same amount of kindness. Also, here is an interesting article on how to talk to your children about race (from last year, but still relevant).
Below was my itinerary in Paris for my recent trip with Cruz. While it was just from my own research, childhood memories, recommendations and experiences, it worked great. Stay tuned for Friday, for tips on *how* to travel to Europe with children, and things that *worked* for us.
Day 1: Jardin des Tuileries, Ferris Wheel, Place de la Concorde, outside of the Louvre, crepes.
A view of La Place de la Concorde in the Ferris Wheel. It was great elevating and showing Cruz where our adventures would lead us the rest of the trip
As a member of the tribe, it is with great excitement that I introduce Jaffa Dolls, a company based in Israel in which Jewish and Arab women come together to make dolls by hand. Especially during a time when politics are getting OUT OF CONTROL, it is the perfect time to introduce a product that supports co-existence and unity, not discrimination and racism. Jaffa Dolls support WOMEN and PEACE between two ethnic groups. Peace and women — double your pleasure, double your fun. And to top it off, the dolls are unique, cute, and happy. I had the privilege of sitting down with good friend, Laura Newmark (also the wife of $2 bill Matt), who is the US Distributor of Jaffa Dolls. Read on to find out about this new venture. Thanks, Laura!
One of my favorite events in the Big Apple is the New York City Marathon. There is a buzz, energy, and pride that fills the city air. I cry, I smile, I weep, and I am just so happy for all the runners and finishers! And this year, it fell the day after Halloween, making it a BIG weekend for kids and adults. A memorable, fun, and inspiring weekend.
Although my son, Cruz, had all his baby teeth in by the time he was 6 months old, he has yet to lose a tooth. Nonetheless, I am prepared for when he DOES! I found the cutest and chicest tooth pillow for him when the big day comes.
Best discovery EVER (and of course, made in Portland, Oregon), is a crayon holder. I know, it sounds WAY OVER-DRAMATIC, but trust me, it seriously rocks my world. It made me want to start carrying it around not for the kids, but for ME! Easy, hip, amazing.
How do you teach your child how to ride a bike? CALL YOUR FATHER! (not joking). YUP, as with everything, kids take direction from other people more than their parents (next thing you know, there will be “bike riding consultants” for children in NYC….if there aren’t already…). So happy that my papa taught C how to ride a bike in three days!
One of my all time favorite gifts is the “Birthday Interview Book.” This tiny little book is a simple way of keeping track of your child’s favorite items each year. Every year, on his birthday, we ask Cruzzie the same 20 questions (favorite color, song, friend, meal, etc…) and record it in the little keepsake book. We will start the same tradition with Toosh this May when she turns 3. It is a fun (and smart) way of collecting information about your child as they grow up (tear — not too fast, kids!). And the kids love to answer and record the questions as well! To purchase, go here. It is the perfect gift for your child (or a friend!).
Tiny, little blue book with powerful, meaningful keepsakes.
Because my 5-week old baby girl has acid reflux and only wears Carter’s onesies, I currently know more about boy’s clothing than I do about girl’s clothes. Sure, I know the mainstream lines, but I don’t (yet) know about all the hidden gems of fun, hip, retro, and cool girl’s clothing lines. Until baby Zoe is ready for real clothes and I can do some exploring, here are my favorite obscure and original boy’s clothing lines.
Bobo Choses was founded by a team of Spanish girls. Their designs are simplistic, stylish, and made with natural materials.
WE WEAR SHORT SHORTS. So flippin' cute, comfortable, bright, cheery, and awesome.
Cruzzie rocking the yellow bike shorts. Currently, he will not let me dress him in long shorts and demands to be put in any type of these shorts.
Frances Reid Clothing
Hand-made by one of my favorite ladies in the world, this line of clothing has a variety of items, including my favorite hooded sweatshirts. They are a great gift for anybody as you can never have too many hoodies in your closet. Or your son’s closet, too.