Millennium Mom

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The trip of a lifetime (or at least 2013!)

Welcome friends to what will be the Zucker Family's blog for the summer of 2013 sabbatical adventure.
We are thrilled that you will be following us along on our adventure.  We will update this blog fairly regularly while we are traveling to document our travels, experiences and pics of the beautiful parts of the country we will see.  Before we head out I will be posting some blogs regarding our preparations for our trip, to give you a sense of what a true adventuer it will be.

To fill you all in, Arnie and I are both taking a 9 week sabbatical from P&G this summer.  We are so blessed to work for P&G who offers up to 3 month sabbatical every five years of employment.  Our dream has been to take two sabbaticals before Ben heads off to college, the first one a domestic adventure hitting many of the national parks, and the 2nd to go to Australia and New Zealand.  Like life always does, it at many times just felt like a dream that would never be reality.  But when both of our assignment changes lined up to be this summer, we talked over the Christmas holiday and decided to go for it.  Thankfully both our our management lines were aligned and signed off on our request, and then the planning began.

Our trip breaks down into three parts:
1) RV trip out West from June 2-July 14
2) Mother-daughter, Daddy-son time from July 15-July26
3) Disney cruise in the Carribean with my side of the family from July 27-Aug 4

and then back to work and reality on Aug 5th.

 For our RV trip we have rented a Sunseeker Forest River 3170 model from Neff Brothers RV in Cleveland area.  Thankfully one of our hockey friends was doing a 3 week RV trip and had done all the research to find the best RV place...thank you Mark Gall.  Here is a pic of what our home away from home will look like, as well as the inside images.  As you will see while it isn't home, it should be a nice ride for the six weeks we will be in it.

Tomorrow I hope to get back online and share our itinerary with you, where we will be each day, what parks we are visiting and friends we will see.

ciao for now, Joanna

Friday, May 10, 2013

Millennium Mom

Millennium Mom: Joanna Zucker gives you tips on how to create memories of milestones in your child's life - with graduations, first communions, birthdays, confirmations, bar/bat mitzvahs, /

How to make those "special" days special

How to make the special days even more special

My youngest child Sarah recently made her First Holy Communion. As I looked at this day I asked myself how I can make it special for her. We don’t live near either of our families, so events like this don’t lead to a big party as they did when I grew up. Yes, her grandparents came into town, and we went to dinner, but how can I give her lasting memories I wondered. And what about birthdays, graduations, Valentine’s day, Thanksgiving and other special occasions? These questions led me to the web and research, what advice is out there for moms like me, just trying to make a day feel “special” for their loved ones.

• Write a letter or note to your child – Whether it is a birthday, sacrament, graduation or recital, write your child a note about how you feel, how proud you are, and what the day means to you. It is easy to buy the Hallmark card that seems to capture your feeling, but adding your personal note to reflect on the day and what led up to that day is what will be read years from now. Be sure to write the date on it so years from now it will put it all in perspective as they look through their keepsake box.

• Be consistent each year – Memories are formed often by “a major event” or surprise, but also through routine. If you do the same thing to mark the special day each year, your child is more likely to remember it. One mom online talked about how on each Valentine’s day she would die her children’s milk red, make heart shaped pancakes and put Hershey’s kisses in her kids lunch box. I am guessing 20 years later they still remember that every Valentine’s day. When I was a child, my dad would come home on Valentine’s day with a few roses for my mom and a carnation for my sister and me. Each year it made me feel so special and I still remember it over 30 years later. Maybe make your kids breakfast in bed for their birthday each year, have a celebration on the last day of school and so on.

• Let them help – nothing is more personal than letting your child put their fingerprints on the day. Regardless of age there are many things you can have your kids select for their day

o Cake and ice cream flavor – ask them what flavor of cake they want you to make or get. I remember I always asked for my grandmother’s angels food cake with whipped icing and strawberries every year, or Carvel ice cream cake

o If you are going out to eat let them pick out the restaurant. My neighbors do this and it is always fun to hear what the children chose.

o If you are having a party let them determine the theme of the party or where it will be held

o Let them make the invitations to the party and design them online with their help to personalize the day

• Spend “special” time with your child - personal one on one time with your child or even your entire family is truly “special” now and days. We are so over-scheduled and running from place to place, that spending downtime on these special days in itself will make them feel special. Just ask your child what they want to do, whether it is play in the yard, play a board game, go for a walk or have a picnic; it is not the usual routine of running around, watching TV or playing video games to kill time. Family time in itself can be special, so act like it is 20 years ago and just enjoy each other’s company that will truly make it feel special.