To hire someone annually to do what you as a parent would cost upwards of a quarter of a million.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Vineyard Easter Egg Hunt

Collin and Robert use beach pails to collect Easter eggs.

So, what do you do when you're on an island and you have an Easter Egg Hunt? You use beach pails, of course!
After a long weekend of grandson extravaganza I asked the boys what their favorite part of the visit was and they unanimously agreed - hunting for Easter eggs! I have to agree. It brought back many memories. Memories of my own childhood and memories of my children searching for eggs and now here I am writing about my grandchildren doing the same thing. A little piece of immortality is in there somewhere. Plus, there is nothing like watching a group of grown men including uncles, friends, and Papa, giddily cheer on a couple of little boys searching and uncovering all their fantastic egg-hiding-spots around the yard! Pure bliss.

Good Luck!! Good Parenting!!
Happy Easter!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sing a Lullaby

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Amidst the rush of work, daycare, and everyday life it can be a challenge to find the time to slow down with our children. Babies, toddlers, and children thrive on the precious moments we spend talking, singing, and reading with them. The difference between a child who is ready to enter school and a child who is not, might very well be found in the amount of vocabulary a child has acquired before school even starts.

The time we spend with our infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers in activities which require conversation and language is time well spent, both for you and your child. Reading books together, which simply can be talking about the illustrations if you have a very young child, is one way to encourage positive growth and development. Singing a lullaby at nap or bedtime and singing fun songs throughout the day is an important way to nurture development of those brand new brains and to emotionally bond with your child, and you'll be helping to develop your little loved one's vocabulary.

Remember, from kindergarten to third grade children are learning to read, and after that, they are reading to learn, so all that early time spent playing, singing, reading, and talking together will help to stimulate their ever-evolving language and allow them to start school better prepared. Before a child even enters school a child builds his or her vocabulary when we talk, sing, and read with
Auntie Jill explains the differences between big and small, and young and old.

Make some noise!

Good Luck!! Good Parenting!!


★ 8 HOURS ★ Lullabies for Babies to Sleep - Music for Babies - Baby Song...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Building Family Relationships Through Fun

It's not easy for all family members to get together over the holidays, especially when the family begins to grow. One way to mitigate some of the stress is to build new strategies for coping when emotions run high. You may not always see eye to eye, and that's okay, acceptance and patience can help keep the peace and joy we all strive to live by, after all, when the Christmas ham has been carved and the chocolate ganache consumed, what else do we have left but one another?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all families! Good luck, good parenting!!

Son-in-law, Doug and Robert

Son-in-law, Doug and  Robert
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

Daughter-in-law, Mich,Steve,& Collin

Daughter-in-law, Mich,Steve,& Collin
Family Hike

Mom and Daughter Nat

Mom and Daughter Nat
Mom and Future Mom

Jillian and Sean w/ Molly

Jillian and Sean w/ Molly
Group Hug

Excerpt from Growing Up Crazy by Bonnie J.Toomey

Freeze Pops

Winter 1972

There’s ice on my bedroom window in little cornered crescents. It’s still dark out, but it is time to get up for school anyway which I happen to like a lot.

I wriggle out of my pajamas and pull on a hand me down sweater and jeans from my aunt who works as a nurse in Boston. She was always giving us bags of clothes which I would pull apart and alter to fit my style and size. This gave my wardrobe an eccentric and eclectic look all its own which I thought was quite individual and even artsy.

I hated to leave the warmth under the pile of blankets and old coats I had layered on for extra insulation at night. It could get pretty cold upstairs this time of year, and the transition from clothes to no clothes to clothes again was a little unpleasant in the wintertime. There’s never been heat up here, Dad didn’t put it in, but instead cut a hole in the floor the size of a wood stove chimney pipe to let whatever heat rise up from our wood stove down in the kitchen.

“Heat rises,” was how Dad explained it to us. I kept thinking, well maybe it does, but I sure can’t feel it up here.

It is colder than usual this morning. My fingers don’t work as quickly as I want them to. I head downstairs where mom and dad are hunkered under some blankets on the couch which they must have dragged in front of the fireplace during the night. They’re still sleeping. Dad’s head at one end of the couch and mom curled up at the other end.

I grab my bag and step outside into the ice cold morning and my nostrils form tiny icy needles on the first breath in sticking together like metallic glue. Luckily, the bus arrives in less than a minute but long enough to finish turning my toes in my sneakers into ten freeze pops.

I slide in next to Claire careful not to break off any digits.

“Vaugn, you look really cold,” she says, very concerned. The newscaster on the bus radio says that it’s five degrees this morning over central New England, and that it warmed up from the overnight low of zero.

I explain that I think our furnace broke again and she offers me her mittens with the fancy rabbit fur cuffs.

“Thanks, Claire,” I say, and between her offering and the noisy over head heater blowing puffs of warmth into the air, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Excerpt from Leaf Landing by Bonnie J. Toomey

French Lesson

French is not the easiest class to miss.

I missed almost two weeks straight

after Mom died

and a lot of other days before that

and now I am really behind.

Mom wanted me to take French

because she thought it would help

in ballet class.

Dad lost a couple of bids.

He says people are losing

their jobs,

the economy is bad

The TV keeps warning

unemployment is up,

gas prices are up

and people are fed up.

I don’t know why Dad

has to watch

it only makes him

yell at the TV

Dad says we need to conserve more than we have been

now the house feels cooler.

When I complain,

Dad says

to go outside and come back in ,

then I’ll feel warmer.

Harriet and I spend our time bundled in

an extra layer of clothes

or dragging an afghan around

like giant moths in cocoons.

We are out of butter again.

Dad says

to try using peanut butter.

Well, isn’t the word,


in it?

Harriett won’t eat her toast

and it just sits on the plate

getting cold

like the floors

in this house

and suddenly the one phrase

in French,

“It is cold.” comes back to me:

“Il fait froid,

la maison est fait froide."