Parenting

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Our Favorite Halloween Tradition

Come on guys.. you didn’t think I’d forget about the Halloween Bucket, did you? The most treasured tradition of all our Halloween traditions? Heck, maybe the most treasured of all our traditions, period, exclamation point! Let me remind you, we recently moved. To a different country. Across an ocean. We let go of and wept over many things we couldn’t bring with us when we left the Dominican Republic. But do you know what was packed in suitcase #1… the...

Coffee Talks: The Only Thing That Matters When Moving with Kids

During these last few months of searching for our next move abroad, we talked about it endlessly with everyone. Everyone except for our kids. I wasn’t scared to tell them; I just didn’t have anything to tell them and “I don’t know where we’re going” didn’t seem like a solid answer for their inevitable followup question. Last week, after Husband accepted the job offer in Guadalajara, it was time to talk and here’s what I learned from that talk: when...

Coffee Talks: Comforting Words for the Sibling Who Stays Behind

A new phase began in our lives: our first child went off to school. But my concern was less for the one that went and more for the sibling that stayed behind. I’m a mostly rational adult that knows how to deal with uncomfortable feelings, and my emotional state was a mixed bag of sadness, uncertainty, and excitement. So what about our son, the younger brother and the sibling that stayed behind? I could only imagine his confusion. We’ve been fortunate to live abroad for the...

Coffee Talks: Redefining Failure Starts with Me

In the last couple of days, the same message has been popping up across my screen. It has come in different words and different medias and from different people but the message is the same. Choose failure. What? Choose to fail? What kind of bull… But wait. Hear me out. What if we gave failure a big hug – welcomed it right in – and used it to help us rise instead of letting it weigh us down? What if we looked at...

Parental Doubts: Raising Bilingual Kids

Before parents are actually parents, there are certain certainties that we know. Some parents know their kids will be vegetarian because of their own lifestyle. Some parents know that their kids will go to private school. Me? I knew that I was going to raise bilingual kids. Born to Cuban parents and having been bilingual myself, there were a number of good reasons. There were personal reasons like wanting my kids to speak to our relatives in their native language. There were...

Why Sleep Routines Are Awesome but I Might Be Done with Them

It’s possible for Husband and I, as parents, that our favorite word is routine. It has kept us on the same page when it came to bedtimes, sleep training, food, and most other kid-raising things. There were always the few friends who told us that we didn’t have to be so stringent about our sleep routine but we liked it and it worked, both for the kids and for us. We’d give crazy amounts of hugs and kisses but when it was bedtime, we were...

Losing the War: The Family Bed

We held off as long as possible, but at this point, we’re fighting a futile war. It is safe to say that we officially have lost the war on the family bed front. The battle began when I was in the middle of a migraine bender. Husband had to tutor that night and it was too short notice to cancel. The She-Babe saw her opening and took it. With mom incapacitated and dad not there, she came in to my room. Through...

8 Things My Kids Absolutely Do Not Need for Christmas

Around the holidays, I’m in emotional turmoil about what to give my kids for Christmas. Christmases of long ago (ok – of long, long ago) when I was a kid, my parents and grandparents spoiled us rotten, truckloads of gifts in garbage bags bursting out of their cars like a clown car. As a kid, Christmas wasn’t my favorite holiday because of the Mount Everest living room of parents, but, gosh, it was pretty awesome. As a parent, I know that...

Visiting Aldeas Infantiles Orphanage: Finding Real Christmas Spirit

Husband and I have known since year one in DR that we wanted to take our kids to the yearly Aldeas Infantiles orphanage Christmas visit organized by the middle school National Junior Honor Society. It became even more possible, last year, when Husband became the advisor for NJHS* and actually do-able this year, now that our kids were older. Find more information about Aldeas Infantiles SOS.*      Pulling into the orphanage for a Christmas visit would have been special enough. Some...