Cozy up in the Cold

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Winter weather is here in New York and my California blood is having a hard time coping. My toes and fingers go numb within a few minutes of exposure and I can’t seem to layer up enough to feel warm. Even our home is chilly, as it is nearly 100 years old and the insulation isn’t the best.

The mornings are the worst as I just want to stay in bed, but have to attend to the 2 1/2 and 6 year-old shouting “Mommy! Mommy, I want to watch a movie.” I peel myself away from my warm bed and make my way to the Keurig.

Knowing that we will be trapped indoors for the next few months, we have created ways to keep ourselves cozy and enjoy our time inside.

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One of the things that we look forward to (especially my husband) is using our wood burning fireplace. The kids even help out with passing logs to the fire master.

We each have claimed a big, fuzzy couch blanket that we wrap up in, while we enjoy a book or movie.

Some of the perks with the cold weather is hot chocolate and fresh popped popcorn, endless Lego building, baking, dance parties and lots of snuggles with the kids and our pup.

What do you like to do during the cold months?

Check out Parachute Home’s bedding sets to learn more.

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Valuable Lesson

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When Christmas comes around, I kind of dread it. My son’s birthday is just a week earlier and the magnitude of toys and gifts that he typically receives is just crazy. I know that he won’t use all the toys and a lot of them are duplicates of what he already has or something very similar. The house is already overflowing with Legos, cars, dress up clothes, blocks and every action figure made.

I am sure that many people can relate to the unnecessary need of so many toys. More than half the time they don’t even play with it or have the room to play. Kids become so spoiled with materialistic things that they can lose their appreciation for what they have.

A friend of mine reached out and wanted to connect with a child life program to donate her son’s toys. He was turning one a week after Christmas and she decided that this would be a great tradition to start with him. Every year he will get to choose a few gifts that he receives and then donate the rest to a children’s hospital. She is teaching her son a valuable lesson that hopefully others will catch on to as well.

So we gathered the extra toys and reached out to Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York  to arrange for our drop off. Erin O’Brien is a certified child life specialist there and helps run a phenomenal child life program. She was eager to receive the donation and add it to the playrooms on the different units.

Child life programs are always in need of toys. They will be used in playrooms, waiting areas, at bedside, for kids on isolation and also given to children who celebrate their birthdays or holiday in the hospital, yes this happens a lot!

So how can you bring this tradition to your family?

-Instead of exchanging gifts to one another, you use that money to shop for kids in the hospital or other community programs.

– Letting your child pick what to keep and what to donate. This will allow them to be an active participant, give them control in choice making and build up their self-confidence in feeling proud of what they are doing for others.

-Maybe some family members give gift cards and let your child shop with them for the kids.

I will be incorporating this with both my kid’s birthdays and Christmas celebrations. Will you do the same?

Tis the season for giving