Creating Traditions: Celebrate the New Year!

December 28th, 2007

2007 is about to be history. 2008 is eagerly waiting to pounce upon us, forcing us to face another year of our lives whether we're ready or not! With the big holidays behind us, I'm sure there are many of us who would like to take a rest. In fact, a long nap sounds heavenly to me! For those that maybe missed a visit during the holidays due to the fact that we all have increasingly busy schedules, maybe you could consider making a tradition out of New Year's Eve festivities! Here are some ideas. 1. Plan a party. Nothing is more fun for young children than being able to "stay up late" with the adults and "watch television." Plan special drinks and snacks for the kids. When… [more]

Creating Traditions: Smile for Santa (or Anyone, Really)

November 23rd, 2007

Thanksgiving is over. Let's bust out the Christmas decorations! And topics! While I'm all for waiting until Thanksgiving is over before jumping, feet first, into Christmas, the truth is: it's over. And it's time. Quit your grumbling and accept it. You've got just over a month to get ready. So get on the ball! And with that, we'll be bringing you some ideas to incorporate new Christmas traditions into your open adoption. Our first stop? Christmas pictures! You can do this a few ways. 1. Get everyone's picture taken with Santa Claus. The younger you start this tradition, the more hilarious it will be to look back at the results as the years pass by. You can include the adults or just the children. As more children… [more]

Creating Traditions: Watch the Parade Together

November 16th, 2007

I love a parade. (Are you singing, too?) I do! My Dad used to wake me up on Thanksgiving morning and I would sit in front of the television, dumb-founded with awe, as the bigger-than-big balloons floated by on the screen. Even now, when I'm busy with kids of my own or preparing something for Thanksgiving dinner, I've got the parade on the television set on Thanksgiving morning. It just makes me feel good. And, considering that Thanksgiving is next Thursday, you might want to consider making it part of your Thanksgiving tradition! (That's why I'm posting it this week instead of next. Because by the time you would read this next week, Thanksgiving would be over and we'd all be sleepy and full and the parade… [more]

Creating Traditions: Centerpieces

November 9th, 2007

I don't know about your family, but my Mom and Grandma have always been "all about" a "pretty looking table" on holidays. Not only do we use the good dishes and flatware but there's always some beautiful centerpiece involved as well. Even if you're using your normal, everyday plates on Thanksgiving, you can still spruce up your table with a centerpiece! In fact, it could be a tradition to start for years to come. You (and your family) can make a centerpiece for your child's family and they could make one for you. That way, even if you can't be together on Thanksgiving, you are still joined by something pretty in the center of your dining room table. Need some ideas to get started? Well, if you're all… [more]

Creating Traditions: Recipe Exchange

November 2nd, 2007

It's November! And as such, it won't be all that surprising that a lot of the traditions presented this month will focus on the holiday that looms near the end of the month: Thanksgiving! I don't know about you, but I love me some turkey. And stuffing. And cranberry sauce. And mashed potatoes. But not sweet potatoes. Or, really, sometimes sweet potatoes. It depends what mood I am in. Since our families live so far apart, it is unlikely that we will spend a Thanksgiving together unless super-special arrangements are made far enough in advance. (Can you see my optimistic side in that sentence?) Since many other open adoption families have busy schedules, large extended families and some distance involved, I'm figuring that similar circumstances… [more]

Creating Traditions: Sending a Boo-Tastic Treat

October 26th, 2007

If you hurry, get this all ready and in the mail by this afternoon or tomorrow, chances are that it could arrive in time for Halloween. (Halloween is next Wednesday, folks. How it's the end of October already, well, I haven't a clue.) But you need to read this, quickly, and then get your rear in gear! Let's go! Kids like candy, right? I know I did as a child. (Though, not as much now. I wonder why that changed?) If your child's family celebrates Halloween and they are allowed to eat candy, take advantage of this super-easy gift giving tradition. You can go about it in many different ways. If you're needing help getting started, here's a list of things to purchase and/or consider. 1. Go to… [more]

Creating Traditions: Opposing Football Teams

October 19th, 2007

I didn't think of everything when I was placing the Munchkin for adoption. Due to the pregnancy complications and sheer amount of information to consider and decide upon, I let one thing slip my mind: what sports teams her parents supported. Okay, so I'm being kind of funny and "tongue-in-cheek." (Or, if you're from Pittsburgh, you actually get the "importance" of this point.) But, suffice it to say, Munchkin's Dad and I do not agree on football teams. While we aren't in the same conference, we have played each other on occasion. Thankfully, we sat in different states, watching on our own televisions. (Though theirs is much bigger and I wouldn't mind watching over there!) In short, I don't mind that my daughter is wearing some not-as-great… [more]

Creating Traditions: Costume Sharing

October 12th, 2007

While Halloween isn't until the end of the month, I thought I'd discuss an idea that surrounds the festivities so that those who are interested can take advantage of the knowledge and do it this year. (Instead of saying, "I'd like to do that next year," and promptly forget!) There are two ways to look at "costume sharing." First and foremost, if you have children who are a year or two apart in size, you can literally share their costumes back and forth. This works best for families who have the same gender of child or who normally use gender neutral costumes such as animals. It's a nice way to share something within your unique family unit and get that little bit of extra wear-and-tear… [more]

Creating Traditions: Pumpkin Time!

October 5th, 2007

October is here! While the temperatures aren't exactly autumn like in our neck of the woods, we've still gone to the Pumpkin Patch, picked our pumpkins and are displaying them on our front porch. I thought that this weeks tradition idea could incorporate pumpkins so that readers might have time to get pumpkins and do something with them as opposed to waiting until all the pumpkins are picked over. Each of the following ideas is brought up with the intent of honoring your placed child as well as incorporating any parented children you have into the festivities. Even if your child is not in contact with you, you can take the time to decorate a pumpkin in some special way for your child. Be sure… [more]

Creating Traditions: Favorite Books

September 28th, 2007

I didn't come up with the idea for this particular tradition. In fact, Munchkin's Mom surprised me on Nick's first birthday (and simultaneously left me in tears!). This idea works for any open adoption family that loves books and works especially well when there are children of close age proximity on both sides of the adult triad. Each year, whether you choose a birthday, holiday or random event, pick out a book to send to your placed child. Your child can also pick a book to send to either you, if you have no parented children, or to your parented child(ren). If you have parented children, they can pick out a book or, if they are either too young or you don't have any parented children… [more]