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Jun 26 2013

A Letter to My Future Niece

By at 10:11 am

toes in sandDear Future Niece,

When your mom and I were little, we went to the beach one summer with your Nana and PawPaw and even though it was vacation, and we didn’t have to, we decided to wake up before sunrise one morning and go fishing. We got all our equipment ready and made the short walk from the house to the beach, set up our fishing rods, and settled in for what would be a very unsuccessful fishing trip.

But I will never forget that day. We were young teenagers with most of high school still in front of us, and all of our lives after that. We sat in the sand talking about our dreams and wishes we had for our lives that were best spoken in the fading darkness and rising light of a summer sunrise. We talked about our weddings and the color of bridesmaids dresses we would never have. We confided in one another what we wanted in husbands and we talked about you. I was sure I was never going to have children so your cousins were never mentioned, but your mother smiled when she talked about you, even then.  Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 21 2013

In Praise of Awesome Aunts

By at 9:41 am

folded purple sweaterThe day the pediatrician told me just how serious my breastfeeding problems really were, my aunt arrived into town to help out.

We had planned her trip so that she could meet the baby but until she got there I didn’t fully realize how crucial this visit was for me. My aunt immediately took control of the situation both emotionally and practically. She held both me and my daughter as I cried and cried. Her baby gift to me: as many sessions with the lactation consultant as I wanted. Other people could get me baby outfits and toys; she wanted to get me what I needed most at the time. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 30 2012

Grandma Ought To Be In Pictures

By at 2:33 pm

Hey, Stacey here! Great tip for you: Don’t forget about the other important people in your little one’s life. When I look back at my childhood photos I don’t have a ton of images with my grandparents, or aunts, uncles, or even close family friends. They tend to be forgotten in the heat of the picture-taking moment.

I’m not saying stop focusing only on the immediate family unit which yes, is important…BUT if you have grandparents who are close to your kiddos or that YOU are close with, you should make sure to take the time to include them in your photos so that when your babes are big and grown they can look back and see that those other family members and how they took part in their lives.

The photos themselves don’t need to be anything amazing. Just something sweet and simple to document the time together. Here are some examples of my favorite “extras,” some taken of my own little girl and her important people, and some of my clients and all the wonderful, other people who love and adore their little ones!

A nice group shot

American Gothic plus one

Don't forget the aunties!

A classic grandparent shot

Feb 27 2012

Do Children Understand Prayers Better than We Do?

By at 12:45 pm

the thinker statueI’m not the first aunt to think her nephew is awesome. But regardless of any bias that I might (or do) possess, I’ve come to appreciate the Inadvertent Philosopher who lives somewhere in my oldest nephew’s insatiably curious brain.

My nephews were taught Hebrew since their first mewling moments–their parents want their progeny to speak the language with relative fluency, for better communication with their Promised Land contemporaries as well as a connection to the language, text, and people of Israel. One lovely side effect of this effort is that Gil, now 6 1/2 (and probably his 4-year-old brother Dov as well), is also achieving simultaneous interest in the words in the siddur, reading the prayer book over his father’s shoulder in synagogue and asking questions. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 7 2011

Hanukkah Gift Guide: Presents for your Kid’s CHILDLESS AUNT

By at 4:15 pm

Here at Kveller, we know that it can be hard to balance everything in your life–and then on top of it, people expect you to buy them gifts for Hanukkah? Not to worry, we’re here to help. Catch up on the other Hanukkah gift guides aimed at the special people in your life. Enjoy–and happy shopping!

So your kid(s) have an aunt who is young, childless, and dare we say, hip? For Hanukkah, you’ll probably want to get her something really cool. She is, after all, the “Fun Aunt,” (or the “Crazy Aunt,” depending on what she majored in at college and how far away she’s moved from the rest of the family). As an extremely hip, extremely cool, and extremely childless aunt myself, I’m here to offer you some gift ideas that should definitely help the aunt forgive you for stealing all of the spotlight when you just had to have that cute baby.

1. Lockets. Do you know what I used to think were really cool as a kid and am still kind of in love with? Lockets. I mean, it’s a pretty necklace that also holds a little hidden secret inside! Emily Rosenfeld makes this beautiful double-sided locket ($48) with a tree of life on one side and a dove on the other. You can also always count on Etsy to find unique and antique jewelry, like this 1960s elephant locket ($89) and many, many more.

2. Delicious Treat Maker. I think the best Hanukkah gift I ever received was this hot chocolate maker ($30), which makes the most delicious hot chocolate a chocolate-loving girl could ask for. It heats it to the perfect temperature that is hot but not burn-your-tongue-hot, and if you make a bigger batch, it will continuously keep the remainder at that perfect temperature, and there is a FROTHING button, for goodness sake. I got this about 3 years ago and have used it religiously, year-round, like an addict.

3. Anything from Anthropologie. I have yet to meet a gal who isn’t in love with Anthropologie. Granted it’s usually a very masochistic relationship in which you only allow yourself to go inside the store if you promise to go directly to the sale section (do not pass go, do not spend $200), but nevertheless, it’s love. They have all kinds of great little home décor pieces like these gorgeous monogrammed mugs ($8) and a candle that looks like a book ($28)! (They also have a $200 cookie jar that says “Borsht” on it, and I don’t know, but that’s probably right up somebody’s alley.)

4. Good Old-Fashioned Wristwatch. Some people say that watches have gone in the way of fanny packs because everybody just uses their cell phones nowadays, but I say that’s stupid. Maybe it’s just that I’m writing this on a day that I forgot to bring my phone to work, but I’m calling for a watch comeback—who’s with me? This huge face/tiny strap Fossil watch ($75) looks quite nice, or for something a little different, I fell in love with these Hebrew alphabet watches when I was in Israel, and you can get one here ($99).

5. Cute Gizmos & Gadgets. Who said technology has to be boring and manly and silver? Men, probably. This electronic garden charging station ($25) hides the mess of cords and gives your smart phones and digital doohickies a zen place to chill out (ugh, I’m embarrassed I just wrote that). Or you can go retro with this portable MP3 speaker that looks like an old-timey radio. Neat!

6. The Weirdest Gift on the Block. Sometimes the best part of giving a gift is that second when the recipient unwraps it and burst out into hysterical laughter. Call it a gag, call it chotchkie, call it whatever you want—ain’t nothing wrong with a ridiculous gift. Which brings me to the 5-pound gummy bear ($30). It’s equal to 1400 regular-sized gummy bears, it’s completely edible, and it’s the best conversation piece I’ve ever been lucky enough to display. Another great choice is this Wooly Willy plate ($12), which doubles as a diet plan because you’ll just want to play with your food the whole meal.

7. Charitable Donation. It’s always a lovely gesture to donate to an important charity in the honor of a loved one. You know, “tis the season,” blah blah blah. It’s especially nice if you choose a charity that the honoree feels strongly about. You may want to look into 826 National, a nonprofit that offers inventive programming to under-resourced students across America in order to help explore creativity and improve writing skills. It can also be hard to stuff our faces with potato latkes knowing that millions of adults and children are going hungry everyday, so donating to an organization like Feeding America is never a bad idea.

8. Boring Gift Card. Yes, gift cards are really boring, but in the end, they’re one of the most useful gifts you can give, and it eliminates a lot of the guessing game. I’d say it’s safe to go with a card to iTunes or a bookstore (which are pretty much total entertainment superstores these days, so it’s not limiting anyone to those ancient paper objects that you actually have to hold and smell and turn the crisp pages of). To spruce things up, wrap the card in a giant box and throw in a LOT of Hanukkah gelt. Voila!

**Note: If you came here looking for gift ideas for that other kind of childless aunt—you know, the kind that has a lot of cats and a great collection of plastic bags—a membership to this Cheese of the Month Club should do it.**


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