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Super Sisters

About the Supersisters

Jen, Kristen, and Patience

Three real-life sisters sharing their kids' antics, milestones and adventures through this crazy journey called motherhood. Find out more »

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October 2010 Archives

Jen

Time to Say Goodbye

Posted by Jen on October 14, 2010 at 4:35 PM in PBS Values
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It's hard to believe our time at PBS is coming to a close. We'll always be thankful to Jean Crawford for inviting us to be a part of the PBS Parents line-up and believing that our stories, presence and tips on child development could make a real difference to everyday parents online.

Special thanks to Jeanine Harvey and Kevin Dando who brought the best of Supersisters to PBS Facebook fans and believed in us from the very beginning. We'd also like to extend a kind hand to Tracey Wynne for stepping in and providing leadership during an important time of transition for our team. We wish you all the very best.

And last but not least, thank you, our readers and friends who became part of our circle of supersisters. We wouldn't be where we are today without your kind comments and warm support. Like us, you believe in the values PBS represents, and we thank you for caring enough to read along over these last two years.

While we'll greatly miss our time here at PBS, we are excited to look toward the future as our children continue to develop and grow. If our writing here has been meaningful to you, we invite you to come say hello on our personal blogs.

You can find me at jenlemen.com.
You can find Kris at mommyneedsacocktail.com.
You can find Patience at kindnessgirl.com.

Thanks again. It's been a real honor to be here.

Kristen

I Feel Like a Von Trapp Family Singer, Belting "So Long, Farewell"

Posted by Kristen on October 10, 2010 at 9:45 PM in Raising Boys
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Two years ago, my first post for the Supersisters was a post about Ethan teaching Nathan how to climb out of his crib.

It will surprise no one who has followed our craziness over the last two years that just this morning I overheard Nathan trying to teach Mason how to climb out of his crib. Yes, my children are pretty much all the same. Ethan was too busy to teach Mason how to climb out of his crib because he's busy trying to figure out how to make this thing called a "ramp" that his friend Harrison brought to his attention. Apparently if you ride your bike over it really fast, you can go in the air a little. Yay....

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Midday brought us a trip to Lowe's where the boys used rebar as guns that they fired from their shoulders at each other between the piles of concrete. I got a double whammy of a self-righteous mother declaring she doesn't allow her children to play guns (I thought I got away with shoving the rebar in their hands and teaching them how to "reload" when no one was looking) and the incredible amount of filth that was everywhere, thanks to said rebar.

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So pretty much, the more things change, the more they stay the same. While we will no longer be regaling you with stories of emergency room visits and bike riding and crib breakouts here at PBS, you can be sure that wherever we are, those things are still happening.

I leave you with this video which debuted a mere two years ago. I think my favorite thing is either the fact that Nate has only one leg in his pants or the fact that he crosses in front of the video like an SNL skit gone bad. Either way, I'm really glad we didn't name Mason Flying Squirrel.

Patience

Lanterns of Hope

Posted by Patience on October 8, 2010 at 8:50 AM in Activism
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It is one of my most favorite art projects to do with kids. Old recycled jars with some colorful tissue paper glued on and sealed. They become the prettiest lanterns, each one so different and unique. When they are lit, they look like round stained glass windows.

The kids and moms from our street got together one afternoon to paint and chat. We each brought supplies and helped each other set it all up. I find that neighborhoods are so very often looking to belong, people want tribe when living side by side. Even the people that send the very opposite message sometimes are waiting to be cracked open by kindness.

It's amazing what one little light can do, even in a sea of darkness. It sometimes is just enough for someone to find their way. As we lit our lanterns that night, I thought of my friend Brea and her mom and the first time I saw her jars. She did the very same colorful project but used the jars to collect money for ALS research and funding. ALS is a very debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Fifty percent of patients die within three years. Brea's mom passed away over a year ago.

With a disease that has so little hope around it and so much dark, I was amazed by my friend's deep passion and desire to educate and fight for research. She is the kind of woman, probably much like her mom, whose strength is bringing light and color to a very dark situation. In the same way, just a little can do so much, I was wondering if our lanterns could hold our offerings of hope too.

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Our family is going to put our pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and bills till our lanterns are filled to the tippy top and join in the fight against ALS. My kids love couch digging and hunting under furniture for lost treasures. We all know the laundry produces some cash every now and then. Why not join us? Spend an afternoon with the kids in your neighborhood making your lanterns or jars and see what your street can come up with.
You can find out more about Brea's mom, ALS and how you can help here.

Looks like our time is ending here, thanks for joining us in all the Supersister goodness and friendship! You all have been so very super!

Jen

42 is a Magic Number

Posted by Jen on October 6, 2010 at 7:00 AM in Connecting with kids
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yes we can cupcake

There's nothing happier than waking up to your kids with a big present in tow. With the help of their dad, Madeleine and Carter bequeathed me with a shiny red tea kettle, yummy knee socks and a journal that made me smile. Today is my 42nd birthday, and I am so happy.

Birthdays are tender times for parents. You spend so much time worrying about your kids--from their own birth days (remember all those books you read and how much you wanted their entrance to the world to be just right?) to their actual parties year after year after year. There's not a mother in America who hasn't agonized over her kid's special day, hoping everything will be just right.

You spend so much time focused on your kids that by the time it is your birthday, it's hard to drum up the energy to make it matter for yourself. Don't get me anything, you want to say. Pleeeaase...do not go to any trouble. But these are requests we make out of the memory of our own effort. We don't want anyone to take on the burdens we take to let others know we love them and that they are special--especially when it comes to us.

But learning how to let the love in and making space for the extra trouble is as nourishing to our kids as all the parties we throw and the extreme measures we take to let them know we care. When we collapse down our opportunities to receive, we also fold up like an accordion their capacity to give. It's important for them to register and understand that they have a part to play in the acknowledgment of our efforts, but more importantly the ways we sacrificially love. They need a chance to say and show and display the ways they see us and recognize the gifts we always bring.

I am feeling blessed today that my kids have a dad who understands this and who is committed to helping them register their love in tangible, thoughtful ways. For those of you who don't, I say this is so important that it's worth teaming up with a friend who will help your kids while you in turn help hers, whenever there's a special day of yours that needs noting.

We need the love as much as our kids do, and when we can admit that and let it in, we're all the better for it.

How about you, Supersister? How do you feel when your birthday rolls around? Are you celebrated in your house? Do you care? Share your experience in the comments below.

Kristen

Raising Three Boys

Posted by Kristen on October 4, 2010 at 8:50 AM in Raising Boys
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As the three boys fell out of the car (literally), I glanced to the other side of the "parking lot" at the pumpkin field. A father was walking with three blond brothers down the road. They seemed to be ahead of us by a couple of years. The boys were maybe 3, 5 and 7. As my children screamed (apparently one had rolled under the car and his brothers weren't letting him out), the father with the three boys fielded three different conversations. I tried to get his attention to give him a conspiratorial nod, but he was too focused on maintaining three conversations at once.

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You see, when you have three boys that are relatively close in age, you always notice other people with the same. I imagine this happens with every family, grasping similarities and giving others with the same family make up some form of solitary sign. We don't see a lot of families of three boys, but it's not uncommon for me to have a mom come up to me in the store and say, "I have three boys too and now they are grown up. It's possible." This usually happens when I have kids climbing out of the cart on both sides and a less-than-cheery baby screaming because his method of escape is being hindered by the seat belt.

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I don't know why I am continually surprised by raising boys. Mason spent the better part of the afternoon at the field attempting to climb out the front of the wagon. This would make you believe that what he really wanted was to walk with his brothers. Not really. He really just wanted to continually climb in and out of the wagon. When he did walk, he was obsessed with the rotten apples that had fallen from the trees. He spent an hour trying to pick up all the rotten apples and put them in the basket. If only he felt such passion about toys in his room at clean up time.

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Things picked up for Mason considerably when his brothers graciously showed him that an even better option for rotten apples was to throw them at each other. I looked around the crowded fall locale and not one little girl was throwing apples. Come to think of it, no one else was throwing apples. I sighed and looked at their father. He looked back at me and laughed. I guess this is just the way it is when you have three boys.

Patience

Halloween Fun for Families

Posted by Patience on October 1, 2010 at 4:35 AM in Holidays
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It's October 1st, which officially means we can eat candy corn and watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Trying to do any of those things before October just isn't the same; the candy doesn't even taste right. While we have been talking costumes since July at my house, we decided to add some extra family fun this year. We thought we would share some ideas to get your Halloween creative ideas flowing.

Have a kid Halloween dinner party. The excitement is off the charts for our Harry Potter dinner party tonight. We invited just a few kids, got costumes and have been thrifting for all kinds of cool stuff to turn our dining room into a spooky castle. The kids are dressing up and sitting down for a real meal followed by a board game. It's a nice introduction into entertaining and feels grown-up yet still tons of fun. The literary slant doesn't hurt either; I've never seen kids so excited about books.

Have a family drawing night and make comic books. My kids love all the Ed Emberley drawing books, especially the Halloween one. Make little books out of any paper you have lying around or flip books from a pad of post-its. Sit around after dinner and unlock your family creativity together.

Recycle or make your own costumes. I only make one costume a year since I have four kids, the rest are bought, borrowed or recycled. I find that one costume is always my favorite. I think it is more about the planning, talking, connecting with my kid over something he or she is so excited about. You really don't have to know how to sew or be crazy crafty either. You would be amazed what you can come up with some glue and stuff you already have lying around.

Go pumpkin picking together. We have a local farm that lets you have a many pumpkins as you can hold for $20. The best fun is watching my husband and his gorilla arms try to top his number every year. I think his record is 18. The hayride, apple cider and homemade doughnuts are a huge hit too.

Consider alternatives to candy. Your kids are gonna get tons of candy, we already know this. Why not let your kids catalog shop and pick out a small toy or trinket to give out from your house. Who knows, it might be some other kid's favorite treat?

What Halloween family activities do you do at your house? How do you make the holiday special? Share with us in the comments.

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