Creating rituals and memories

In my mind, there are a series of memories I want my children to recall as adults. Baking challah every Friday for Shabbat where they do the braiding and the smell fills the house. Making homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch (which entailed finding a recipe we like - thank you Trader Joe). Skiing together in Big Sky (or any other mountain). Some memories I try to create proactively and others I hope to remember from the moment.
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Managing sibling competition

Like most parents, we don't enjoy the regular bickering between our two eldest children.  They love each other and share a room but get under each other's skin. It's normal.  Our eldest is competitive and he recognized a couple of years ago, when he was 6, that his younger brother is a natural athlete.  We've worked hard to keep them from being in head to head competition because we just thought that was best.
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Cancer's in the Family - a how-to guide

I cried this morning on the elliptical machine as I worked out watching Brother's & Sisters on TiVo.  One of the sisters tells her family that she has stage-3 lymphoma and the show did a great job of capturing what that's really like for her and her family.  I know - I've been on the receiving end of that news a few times.  This is Breast Cancer Awareness month - so here's a Top Ten most important things to do when you find out that cancer's in the family.
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The Second Baby Surprise

Planned or not, parents know a lot more about what to expect when their second child is born.  After all, you did alright with the first one, right?  So you know you'll eventually sleep again, someday they'll stop crying and that either breast or bottle will nourish them.  You may not believe it, but you are capable of loving another being as much as you love your first - it's amazing.

What's not amazing are some of the surprises.

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Exasperating Eights

The terrible twos don’t come close to comparing with an enraged almost 8 year old. Every Thursday, my boys have a swim class. They’re at the same level but Taylor, the younger, is about to achieve his next “ribbon” and Benjamin is not. Benjamin learned this fact last week. Now showing: "Rage at Swim Lessons".

When I arrived – Benjamin was arguing with the instructor at the front desk about how he hates swimming

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