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Posts from the ‘Holidays’ Category

10 Things I’ve Learned from My Mother

Written by Amy from Funny is Family

My mom and I are close. We look alike and we act alike. We organize our kitchens the same way, we both love a junk drawer, and at church, we both tilt our heads slightly to the left in prayer. As a child, I always loved her handwriting, and I attempted, without success, to copy her elegant, loopy style. My mom and I are also very different, because I am my father’s daughter.

My dad had a sharp, dry, and sometimes biting sense of humor. He found great delight in the absurdities of life, and some of my favorite memories are of laughing with him about things that others didn’t find nearly as funny as we did. My dad was instrumental in shaping my personality, while my mother dominated the hell out of the genes race. To be sure, I am an interesting example of nature vs nurture.

I often wonder what my kids will take away from their childhood. Will they remember the lessons that I think are most important? Or are they locking away life lessons that I’m not even aware I’m teaching? I have vivid memories of my mother telling me something I knew at the time was important (Never make fun of someone’s laugh. Don’t complain about your period; it’s going to happen for 40 years, so learn to live with it, and go about your business.), but the lessons I’ve learned (and am still learning) from my mother’s example are the ones that are the most memorable:

  1. Be a good friend and you will have good friends.
  2. Sometimes marriage is hard. Really hard. Stick it out, and it will get good again. Really good.
  3. If you find a man that you are crazy about, that “my heart will jump out of my body if I can’t see him” type of crazy, marry him, and have his babies. That love will see you through the hard times.
  4. When that man dies, don’t lie down and give up. Hold your head up, lean on friends, and show strength. Others will be comforted by it.
  5. Be kind to your children’s friends. They will love you forever, and rely on you when their own families let them down. This is a special and wonderful blessing.
  6. Know when you are wrong, and apologize with sincerity. Stand your ground when you are right, even if it pisses people off.
  7. Laugh, even when you don’t feel like it. The time will come when you do feel like it, and you won’t have forgotten how.
  8. Love unapologetically. Trust your choices, and eventually others will, too.
  9. Work hard. Treat your boss and your employees with the same level of respect.
  10. Compliment your children frequently. They will grow up with a strong sense of self, and will pass this on to your grandchildren.

blogbutton2013-1Nearly five years ago, Amy and her husband packed up their dog, their stuff, and their 12 month old son, and moved from the Pacific Northwest to New Haven for her husband’s job. She immediately adopted the term “package store” but will never use the word “carriage”, and she frequently brags about her close proximity to the beach and access to the world’s best pizza to her friends back home. You can find Amy laughing at the absurdity of parenting on Facebook and Twitter, and pinning things she’ll never do on Pinterest. She writes embarrassing stories about herself and her family at Funny is Family.


Guest blog on kidHaven.  Email kim at

Green Mama’s Getting Stumped? Gift Guide

Written by Green Mama

Still working on your gift giving? Here are a few ideas:

Go Natural

  • It’s easy to forget that inside the stone façade of the Peabody Museum of Natural History is a fantastic shop with items for kids of all ages and adults as well. Check out the books and music, Fair Trade crafts, gifts to inspire budding naturalists, and more, and support this wonderful New Haven institution. Here’s a COUPON for 10% off your purchase: Open M–Sa, 10–4:45, Su, 12–4:45.

Go Local

  • In addition to shopping the many craft fairs this month, there is always On a recent day, “handmade” and “children” in New Haven alone got 85 hits. If you find a vendor you like, you might be able to arrange a pickup or find out if they will be selling anywhere locally this month.

Go Wild

  • Support a great cause and educate a youngster about caring for our planet with Symbolic Species Adoptions from World Wildlife Fund. For a $50 donation, receive a plush animal, adoption certificate, information card, and more. Choose from 100+ species. Many other gifts available, too.

The Gift of Art

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: Memberships! (Basic Family Membership for each is $100.)

  • Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport. Reciprocity with zoos and aquariums nationwide.
  • KidCity in Middletown. A great indoor exploratorium for kids 1–8 and their favorite grown-ups. Free or discounted admission to 200+ children’s museums around the country.
  • Stamford Nature Center in Stamford. Indoor and outdoor fun and learning for kids of all ages.


Hey, don't forget to reuse that wrapping!