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Bottom Line Publications

Family

Looking for Signs

My brother-in-law passed away last Thursday, December 29, after a 10-year battle with pulmonary fibrosis. The weeks leading up to his passing were especially difficult as Jeff steadily declined toward his too-early death. It was awful for him, of course, but I must also admit that it was not easy watching a loved one deteriorate before our eyes—for his brother (my husband), for his two sons, for his parents, his nieces (my daughters) and extended family.

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Unplug...and Relax

I just got back from one of my most relaxing "vacations" ever. We merely went to visit friends, away four nights. What made this more relaxing than our typical family vacation?

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Happy UnFather's Day

I don't mean this in a bad way, but if you are a parent, Mother's Day or Father's Day isn't really "yours" -- your day to spend as you wish -- unless your parents are deceased or live far away. Otherwise, your day is spent making things special for your own parents.

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A Good Way to Fill the Void

As I write this, I'm feeling very old and very young at the same time. My #2 stepdaughter just graduated from high school.

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No TV Week

Last week was No TV Week for my youngest daughter's grade (third). Each child had to sign a contract committing to no television, no computer (except for homework), no iPods, and no games played on handheld computer devices from Monday through Thursday. The reward was no homework for a week.

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Making Peace With Your Parents

It saddens me to see how many people I know are struggling in their relationships with their parents. And I don't mean youngsters. These are all people in their mid-40's or older so they have been suffering a very long time. It is heartbreaking to witness... and sad to know that these people are just a microcosm of the country and that there are millions of others in similar situations.

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Creative Way to Break the Ice...If You Dare

Last Thursday, I brought two of my daughters into New York City for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. While I've lived in the New York area my entire life, it was the first time we'd ever gone to see it live instead of watching it on television. It was great fun, though close to the end, the children were getting antsy and cold. And then... bubbles. Bubbles! The air was full of them, floating and looping around. The energy among the crowd changed. Not fidgety now. Excited. Heads tilted back, eyes upward. Kids started jumping to pop the bubbles as they floated past. I laughed and fought my own desire to jump up and try to pop the bubbles myself. The bubbles were emanating from a street vendor who was selling battery-powered bubble "guns." "Please mommy?" my eight-year-old pleaded. I gave in without too much resistance.

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Dance Party

When my daughters were younger, we held a dance party in the kitchen every night after dinner. I'd crank up some CD, and we'd go to town. We always laughed a lot while we danced, made up wild moves, took turns leading the choreography, sang along really loudly . It may not have been the smartest thing to be riling up the kids so close to bed time, but it was an irresistible blast every night for all of us. I don't remember when our dance parties stopped, but I think it happened when homework kicked in and we just didn't have the time anymore.

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