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Nov 20th 2007 1:43PM I have a travel website, Child of Leisure, that is all about travel with kids. It is geared towards the luxury market. Like you, I sort of scorned all-inclusives because they don't inspire you to get out and experience the culture of a place. But depending on the age of the child you're traveling with, not to mention if you're going with more than one child, sometimes these can be worthwhile options, and it doesn't mean you have to take every vacation like this. We did the Ritz Carlton in Jamaica when I was 5 months pregnant with my second child, precisely because we just needed to get away, wanted to be somewhere warm on a beach, knew this was our last vacation with just our daughter and didn't want to have to move about or lift a finger. In future, I'd prefer more gadding about, but this was just what we needed at that time. So don't clos the door on them - and remember too that even with an all-inclusive, you can still leave the property once in a while to get some local flavor. Will I do this every time? Absolutely not - but with young kids or when it's a desperately needed getaway where you just want to veg, these resorts can be good options.
Jul 30th 2007 12:06PM I could - and have been meaning to - keep a book of these, since my grandmother has so many hilarious quotes, many of which she picked up from HER father. One of my favorites, which I often say to my daughter at that hour or so just before bedtime when she goes into hyperdrive:
"Your mouth must be SO happy when you go to sleep so it can finally get some rest."
Jul 30th 2007 12:00PM Having a child past 35 does not mean you have to have an amnio. I just had my second and I am 37 - I chose not to have an amnio (I wasn't too keen on it either) based on the very good results of both of my genetic screening tests - like commenter Bonnie, my results were much better than the average for my age so my doctor and I were fine with forgoing the amnio. The new protocols these days are moving away from pushing amnios the minute a woman turns 35 - as I always surmised, the deterioration of the body is a long slow process, not a rapid dropoff on your 35th birthday.
I was actually fine having one child (whom I had when I was 34). She is now 3.5 years older than her new brother. While it might have been nice to go through the diapering and rough nights at one time, it does help me that she is old enough to help in little ways, and that she has her own set schedule that we can work around. I'm also glad that we had a lot of quality time with her before #2 came along, although I think it might be making it harder for HER to adjust now, as much as she is very excited about her sibling. As for the economics of it, I know we're glad that we don't have two in school right now - although we'll eventually have to pay for 2, right now we are just paying for one and trying to figure out how we'll do 2 when the time comes. As with most things parenting-related, I guess this all boils down to what is right for each family, financially as well as temperamentally speaking.
Jul 17th 2007 3:55PM I think these are great for couples with separate interests or if you want to spend some time with friends. Thankfully, though, I've never had the inclination to do it because my husband and I share most of the same interests, particularly when it comes to hobbies/activities, and we truly enjoy each other's company. The few times I've had to travel without him (mainly on business)I've always wished that he was there. Not that missing him is a bad thing, but I really like my husband as well as love him and we enjoy so much of the same things that we don't need to be separated to enjoy our time "off." As far as leaving the kids goes, I just had a baby so that's not going to happen any time soon and frankly both of our families differ from us so vastly in how they would monitor our kids that the thought of leaving them for a week in their care makes both me and hubby shudder... So, end result? We all travel together and will probably continue to do so (which is probably why I'm obsessed with researching family vacations...)
Jul 3rd 2007 10:37PM I took my daughter, who is 3, to see this today. Had I known about the guns - and another scene - I would not have taken her. As for whether or not she should be at movies at all, there are all kinds of movies or cartoons she sees at home, like Winnie the Pooh, so I don't think it is inappropriate to take a child to a movie - it depends on the content. One of her schoolmates has seen all 3 Spiderman movies at age 3 and I think THAT'S much - but I'm not his parent.
Oddly enough, the scene that stuck out for me was the one with all the rats hanging dead in the window. It just seemed so grim. My daughter did not appear to be unusually interested or at all disturbed by it, however (or the gun scene). I didn't make a deal of it afterwards, and she says she liked the movie, but the only part she didn't like was the "bad man" chasing the rat. I was happy that she focused on the part that was more explicable as opposed to death and shotguns. But this is the first time she's been to a movie, precisely because I find that many of the movies marketed towards kids include crude humor or what I think are age-inappropriate subjects. We try to keep it very mild - despite whatever she is eating or wearing, there just doesn't need to be discussion of certain subjects until she is old enough to understand it without being scared or confused. She got here by procreation, but I don't let her watch pornography or sex scenes - so I'm not really understanding how just because people eat meat or wear leather that we leap to the conclusion that it's okay to show young kids gun violence, even in a cartoon context, or that by not wanting to do so we are somehow "glossing over" our killing of animals. Why does everything have to turn into that sort of debate?
Jul 2nd 2007 2:59PM Oh my goodness - I just remembered that I have a 3-year old! I wonder where she is!!!
These people could only be total idiots. It begs the question of why we need licenses to drive and get married and need legal approval to drink, but when it comes to reproducing, any jackass that has the biological ability can go right ahead. How do you FORGET? And no, I don't buy the "I thought YOU had her" story either, not for an HOUR. That happened once with me and hubby in the supermarket when he and I were in different aisles and he let our daughter come to me by herself, not realizing I had moved from where I was - and I was furious that he did that. She was only missing for 15 seconds but that's often all it takes for a lunatic to pounce. But these fools went on a RIDE? The same ride together - so how could they not notice that NEITHER ONE had her?
Jul 2nd 2007 2:32PM Wow, and here I was impressing myself with my clean underwear mandate (LOL).
It really depends on the day, and now probably isn't a good time for me to assess this, since I am 39 weeks pregnant and just getting my huge self out of bed seems like an accomplishment. But I am a summer person, so putting on the cute maternity tunics and dresses is, for me, better than the winter stuff and inspires me to try a little more with the makeup and hair. I do try for the biweekly pedicure now that my toes are actually visible to the public (but also in large part because I like pampering myself and it's a cheap way to do it). And every once in a while, I will go the full gamut with the makeup (full gamut being a little blush, some eyeliner and a not too bright lipgloss). Showering was actually not a daily occurrence (although some form of "washing up" was) until it got hot as blazes - partially because I only recently had the presence of mind to get one of those bath stools that I could sit on (again with the pregnancy thing)...
That's it for me...
Jun 30th 2007 8:47PM I don't know about books - as you know, I'm a firm believer that there are too many damn books telling parents what to do and what not to do - but I have no problem with what you did. I've done the same thing - whining at my daughter - and it has gotten her to stop and laugh. And then she will listen to me as I explain why that behavior is unattractive and unacceptable. I know if I tried to launch directly into that explanation without distracting her first I'd probably be unsuccessful. It's a great way to lighten the mood and get them to stop, and while there are times when the firmness is needed, I think that this approach every now and then - where we don't take ourselves or our kids too seriously - is great. So kudos to you!
Jun 24th 2007 1:41PM Kristin, looks like you're going to have to remember to tell people that you live in Canada and not the US! Since we started shopping organically - which really happened for us too after our daughter was born and we wanted her, and us, to be healthier - the amount of money we spend on food has gone up drastically. Not to mention I've had to learn to be careful with not buying too much since the food won't last as long without all the preservatives in it, and who can afford to waste anything when it costs an arm and a leg to begin with? Like you, I'm annoyed, though, that eating healthier and trying to reduce my footprint costs me MORE. You'd think they'd make living a healthier lifestyle more cost-effective, since it would hopefully end in better health, less strain on the healthcare system and less strain on the environment. But perhaps that's exactly what the medical and big-business lobbyists in the US don't like - God forbid we don't need to take drugs everyday or use gasoline as much...
Jun 22nd 2007 5:48PM It occurred to me that I didn't answer why these are life-changing books. I guess when I read these books, and when I pick them up and read them again every few years, I am reminded of something much bigger than me. I am reminded of the immeasurable depths of both love and loss. I am reminded of what it means to be courageous and how sometimes you have to let yourself lose a battle to win a much larger war. The book Paula was written with much of the same grief couched in peace and lightness that Kate used when she spoke of losing Liam. I think this helped reinforce my own view of death, that it is not permanent, it is not a loss in quite the way it is traditionally viewed - and yet, it is no less painful for those of us who see this earthbound existence as just another plane and believe that we'll encounter our loved ones somewhere else, whether in heaven or in the stars or whatever.