Saturday, June 14, 2008
1. Brad Pitt
2. David Beckham
3. Johnny Depp
4. Will Smith
5. Matt Damon
6. John D'Alessandro
7. Ryan Phillipe
8. Ben Affleck
9. Joel Madden
11. Patrick Dempsey
12. Barack Obama
13. Gavin Rossdale
14. Tom Cruise
15. Tobey Maguire
16. Mark Consuelos
Friday, June 13, 2008
5) Southerners are crazy and I must find a way to move my family down there.
4) When constructing a Father's Day gift list, actually asking a man his opinion helps tremendously.
3) Apparently, Blue Eyes has high chairs.
2) An Adoption Day isn't really a celebration of some judge deciding that your new family is being legally recognized; it's about recognizing that your blessings are far greater than your biology.
1) Just when I thought the smell of spilled milk was the best way to stink up a car, I discovered something worse: urine.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Tie: I cannot think of a more conventional gift for a father, but if you are the parents of small children do not rule this hackneyed choice out all together. Last year my daughter and I started a tradition of Father's Day tie giving, but the tie would only be something she (a then 2 year old picked out). We went to a reasonable store (no way am I letting my little Fashionista loose at Boyd's) and I let her run free through all the ties. As she flipped the ties, spun the circular tie stands, and shouted out the myriad colors, I secretly hoped she'd select the most heinous, egregious, repugnant excuse for men's fashion ever to be conceived just to see her father head into the office with his "gift".
Of course, she picked a conservative navy and gold tie, with a diagonal stripe that was far from horrible.
With hope, this year she's find something that integrates fiberoptic lights.
Cologne/ Soap on a Rope: Again, standard and predictable but not if you incorporate one of those unbelievabel shower heads that mimic falling rain or a car wash. Not only will it upgrade their shower experience, many dads I know would get excited over the challenge of installation.
DVDs: Trust me, no one would love the History Channel's special DVD set that spends 12 days following Hitler's invasion of Poland more than my Dad. But again, DVDs are predicatable. I actually did get my own father the DVD series of Man vs. Wild because it is the most amazing thing I have ever watched on TV in a long time, and I knew he would love all the wacky survival strategies this crazy guy has to offer. But, how can you make it even more creative? Look into his cable programming and see if there are any bonus channels that he may love but would never pay for himself. From sports packages to special science and history channels, you could systematically change his television entertainment for an entire year.
Look For Inspiration:
The following are a list of websites that offer unique gift ideas, along with shipping guaranteed to get it there on time.
Red Envelope: From cuff links and pens made from materials from his favorite ballpark, to a digital brag book that mimics the size of a business card holder, this is one of my favorite resources for gift giving.
The Discovery Channel Store: For that little McGuyver (sp?) in every man, this site has everything from awesome DVD sets and a portable hammock, to personal ATMs and possibly the most awesome gift ever: actual, personally scheduled helicopter and biplane rides through Discovery Channel experiences (really!). Other experiences include shark feeding and swimming, first flight lessons, and "be a paleontologist for a day" (shout out to Ross Gellar).
The potential to be creative is really out there...just try to think outside the tie box.
I'm sorry, that last line was almost as awful as the tie I hope my daughter finds.
***Stay tuned for the epic Father's Day gift (which is really only directed towards the wives of the celebrated fathers).
In celebration of all of the dads, the yearly observation of Father's Day offers up an opportunity to express our love, sing their praises, and refill their supply of Old Spice.
In hopes of ensuring that this year's Father's Day is unlike any other, consider this self-proclaimed list of "The Greatest Father's Day Gifts Ever". I have divided the list into the 3 typical male categories, but if your husband does really fit into any of these "types", know that mac daddy grills, televisions, and promises of uninterrupted dad time are usually safe bets.
And now the list....(PART I)
The High-Tech / Gadget Dad:
In Keeping with the Budget- Swiss Memory USB Army Knife, Portable Satelite Radio (XM for O&A or Baseball; Sirius for NFL and Howard Stern)
Siding with the Splurge- IPhone, Virtual Keyboard, GPS System
MegaGift - The MacBook Air, Ginormous Flat Screen TV (but let him pick it out...that is almost as fun as watching it).
The Sports Fan Father:
In Keeping with the Budget- Wii Sports Games, Rookie Cards of his favorite players, Sports Memorabilia a la eBay, A promise of uninterrupted viewing of one NFL team a week
Siding with the Splurge- Tickets to a game (especially an away one), The MLB Sports Package(for baseball lovers)
MegaGift- Dreamweek, Luxury Box Seats, Can you say Super Bowl?
The Weekend Warrior:
In Keeping with the Budget- Gift card to Home Depot
Siding with the Splurge- Gift Card to Home Depot
MegaGift- Allowing him to work part-time at Home Depot
**Of course, gift cards are always good for techies and sports nuts too. Think Apple or Best Buy, or Dick's or Modell's respectively.
Finally, if you are not excited by any of these gifts, stay tuned for the only guaranteed, wife-of-the-year worthy present.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Comment: Oh my God! My son will be one this month and he also weighs 18 lbs!
What You Want To Say: Oh, I'm so sorry. But really, please know that his poor eating habits only partially reflect your abilities as a mother. Have you considered cooking classes?
What You Could Say: Really? Is your husband undersized too?
What You Should Say: I know! He is so healthy! And I am sure your little guy will catch up in no time!
*For the record: My "little guy" will be one in two weeks and he is weighing it at an astounding 24 lbs....and I would want him any other way!
A mother in Brentwood checked on her sleeping daughter to find a real-life
urban legend come true: There was a snake in her baby's crib, she said.
Cari Abatemarco, 32, of upstate Troy, was visiting family in Brentwood late last week when she awoke after 1 a.m. Thursday to the sound of her 7-month-old daughter's cries and responded as any mother would. She said she found a live snake coiled around baby Isabella's leg.
"Once I lifted her up and the snake fell off of her, she stopped crying. But then I was the one crying all night," Abatemarco said.
Abatemarco's uncle Charlie Vecchiarelli eventually pried the hissing
snake from Isabella's crib with a back-scratcher and placed it in a bucket,
according to Joyce Abatemarco, the baby's grandmother. Animal control officers
said they picked it up later Thursday and brought it to the Town of Islip animal
shelter in Bay Shore.
Though no one in the home can imagine how the snake got there, there are a few theories.
(1) The grandparents had recently bought the crib for the visit from a local vendor and they remember the box being slightly opened. They hypothesize that the snake may have been living in the mattress.
(2) Animal control officers surmise that, given the horrible heat that has been suffocating the East Coast, everyone (including snakes and other unwelcome visitors) is looking for shade.
(3) Having successfully escaped from the local zoo, the wayward snake found himself longing for the confines of a barred habitat.
As much as women think we know what men want (or shoud want), this one is best left to the male persuasion.
Also, if I may be so bold as to throw down the proverbial gauntlet, I have stumbled upon the PERFECT Father's Day gift.
This gift, along with the entire list, will be posted some time tomorrow.
Send your ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
To learn more about him, visit his website at: www.hunterhayes.com
No soap-on-a-rope this year; if you're a dad, send me a description of the best gift you've ever received, heard of someone receiving, or wished you'd receive. The magical list will be posted this Thursday for all to peruse.
Send the gift ideas to: email@example.com
But what is the hardest part?
According to the votes, the resounding majority would rather do without the completely human experience that is the tantrum. Though these bursts of irrational, unreasonable behavior (by the kids, not the parents) vary in length and degree, they are all as frustrating as they are typical. The worst tend to occur in public and involve high volumes of screaming, wild displays of flailing limbs, and a ready audience to enhance the moment. The best reaction is usually no reaction, but that doesn't exactly work when you are standing in line with a cart full of groceries or trying to argue with the cell phone salesman about your current contract.
Coming in second with five votes is the common struggle of trying to keep up with the household chores, while also trying to feed, clean, stimulate, teach, and positively reinforce your charges. For all of this, there is really only one sane solution: the government needs to consider lengthening the hours in a day and we all need to start drinking more caffeine.
Third place goes to my own vote: just getting everyone out the door. Between hair clips, brushing teeth, cleaning up the dishes, and getting the supplies for the day ready, I am breathless by 9 AM. I don't know if my daily stress has to do with my need to be both organized and punctual, or my daughter's delight in making every task a game of tag, but I have yet to master a sure-fire system of departure.
Coming in at a tie for 4th are the trials of diapers and/or potty training and the business of napping. If you are in the process of potty training, it is safe to say you think about little else. Monitoring juice intake, frequency of bathroom visits, and the timing of a trip away from the home are all-consuming and certainly a daily stress. However, if you also have a resistant napper, chances are you spend most of the early afternoon looking for signs of the sleepies, trying to capitalize on that window of time after extreme energy, before they get overtired, and making for damn sure they don't fall asleep in the car.
Finally, a daily difficulty that earned no votes is the nightime routine of going to bed. Though I know some of us struggle with this area as well, we also usually have the help of a second party to share the frustration and (if you are like my house) the reading of 17 books in one sitting.
No one ever said parenting was easy, but it is the hardest, best job we'll ever have.
And on to the next vote.....
Monday, June 9, 2008
For us, the decision to adopt was not easy. Like a lot of couples, we’d struggled with infertility and spent months trying to conceive with fertility drugs. But the process was tough; financially, emotionally, even physically, and eventually we decided to stop. It took months for me to grieve the loss of the biological children I would never have. Months to move past the guilt that my body had failed me and months to get past the rage I felt about my situation. But the day came when I realized we could still have the family we’d always wanted. We just had to come up with Plan B.
Plan B turned out to be adoption. After finding an agency we felt comfortable with, we waited 8 long months for a birthmother to select us. And in March 2005, it finally happened. A young, single woman picked us. Over the next few months there were e-mails and awkward phone conversations as we slowly got to know each other. She was just 20 years old, in college and already raising a two year old. And she was quite sure she could not financially or emotionally handle another child. Her family disagreed, but supported her. We all anxiously awaited her due date.
July 19, 2005 was the day our son was born. My memories from that day are a blur of joy, panic, gratitude and heartbreak. I’d developed an incredible respect for my son’s birthmother. Her selfless love for him deeply impressed me and her family’s genuine concern for my husband and I just touched my heart. For 24 hours we were one big happy family, taking turns with the baby, shuffling between hospital rooms and sharing visitors. But then it was time to go our separate ways.
When it was time to say goodbye, I stood in front of this young woman I’d come to admire, not quite sure what to do. We hugged, she looked me in the eyes, and with tears streaming down both our faces, she handed me her baby. I leaned in to take him as she whispered, “take good care of him”, and she turned and walked out. I stood holding my new son, both overjoyed to have him and absolutely devastated that my wish for a child had brought such pain to someone else. It didn’t matter to me that she’d made the decision to put him up for adoption. Watching her walk out of the room was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and one of the bravest things I’ve ever witnessed.
Now that baby boy is about to turn three. He’s a charming and content little boy who knows he’s adopted and, more importantly, knows he’s loved.
As for his biological family, I still send them pictures and updates every few months, as I will for years to come. And I hope one day my son will want to meet the woman who loved him enough to walk away.
I am still amazed how such a heartbreaking start turned into such a beautiful experience. That’s the magic of adoption.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer
My favorite Connecticut lawyer
That sounds like a lot of fortunate families to me.