Posts Tagged ‘siblings’

On Thanksgiving Day my oldest daughter handed each of us a turkey hat she made herself. She stood by and waited as each of us tried them on for size. My son love his, and wore it all day.

I was decluttering some of our art supplies and beginning to pack up our house. I found a couple of giant Christmas themed coloring books and handed each of them one to work on. My son took his and plopped it on the ground and began to color.

Biracial siblings love

Lee Lee has is fondly amused by her big brother, so I set her beside him while I finished taping up some packing boxes. I was trying to get as much house stuff done over the holiday weekend as I could, while my inbox was quiet.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Lee Lee kicking her little feet and watching her big brother. He noticed too and put his marker down before leaning over her for some kisses.

I dropped what I was doing and ran for my camera. I came back, thankful they were still in the same position and snapped a few shots.

This is what life is all about. Sibling love thanksgiving day. Biracial siblings

This is what life is all about. Sibling love thanksgiving day. Biracial siblings

The room was a mess, toys abound, boxes in the corner, but I didn’t care.

A special moment–A fleeing one–between brother and sister one Thanksgiving morning.

No staging or direction needed. No logos to line up. I was able to sit back and enjoy these two little faces I created smiling at each other.

It's so important to remember to be thankful for what we already have, while we're going after what we want.Click To Tweet

I’m working so hard to build something so great for my children. A place they can grow up with room to run and play. But as I looked at them playing with a handful of toys I had yet to pack I remembered we already have what matters most.

It’s so important to remember to be thankful for what we already have, while we’re going after what we want.

Quiet (or not so quiet) mornings, together. Surrounded by our favorite type of mess. With lots of love abound.

This is what it’s all about.

“I didn’t know you felt that way about me, we don’t really talk much.” Those words hit me like a pile of bricks. It’s not something you’d expect to hear from your little sister.

My youngest sister is 13-years-old. Yea, 19 and a half years younger than me, and it’s true, in the past we haven’t spoken much. We never lived under the same roof. In fact, I was married before she was born. When she and my mom moved to Texas a few years ago things didn’t change a ton. I still saw her as a little sister (little sisters can still be annoying even when you’re an adult). As time has gone by though I’ve watched her grow and mature and I’ve been really impressed with her.

She gets good grades, is a good role model, helps me with my pictures, puts family before friends…. All things I wrote in a card for her for her birthday. I didn’t really realize it but I’ve never stopped to tell her all of these things. So how could she know?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell people exactly how we feel. Sometimes a card can find the words we can’t form ourselves. And sometimes a card is the perfect channel for putting down words you otherwise would find hard to say. Writing down those words gives a gift of good feelings to relive over and over every time they read it.

Getting all sentimental and mushy isn’t easy for me. Especially not with my little sister who is a teenager now. But it’s not a great excuse for not telling people we care about how we feel.

Hallmark has launched the Put it into Words campaign. Now more than ever the world needs more caring, and Hallmark cards can help.

Being a part of this has really helped me to realize how many people in my life inspire me and make my life better. And it’s helped me see how impactful letting them know can mean for both of us. I’m making it a point to put those feelings into words and giving more cards to share how I feel. Because if not now. Then when?

Have you sent a card recently? Think of someone right now who deserves to know how you feel about them and go put it into words. Send a card and see what a difference it makes.

Visit Hallmark for inspiration or click here to see more cool stories of how cards made a difference. There you can also enter for a chance to win free cards for a year and a $500 gift card to use on someone special in your life.

put it into words - hallmark cards

I hate admitting regrets, and I don’t harbor many but one that nags at me more than I care to admit is that I didn’t have any video of my wedding day. We have lots of beautiful photos, but I think videos capture the moment in a way pictures just can’t.

I didn’t video any of my births (I’m not sure if I’d want to watch that over and over). But I didn’t want to regret missing video of my big kids meeting their little sister.

Not one, but two cameras went into my hospital bag. I went back and forth trying to decide which ones to bring and ultimately packed my Canon EOS M50 and my Canon Powershot G7X Mark II.

The Powershot G7X Mark II is be easy enough for my husband, or even my daughter to use if need be, by just pushing the “on” button then the “record” button. I also planned to have a friend and photographer come to help document, thankfully because labor didn’t go quite like I’d expected. My friend Paige (who also shoots Canon, whoohoo!) came and captured some of our first moments together as a family. Many of those picture you saw featured in my birth story. Once Paige left I climbed out of bed, got some makeup on, pulled out my cameras to capture a bit more of these first moments together and get it on video.

Photographing siblings meeting for the first time

The smile the burst across my son and daughter’s faces when they walked in pretty much stayed the entire time they were in their baby sister’s presence. (Except for when they took her to get a shot and she started crying.They cried too. It was the saddest/sweetest thing I’ve ever seen).

Each of them held their hands out wide to take a turn holding her. They spoke to her, gave her kisses, and doted over her the entire time.

“You and your sisters were not like this,” my mom said to me. “You didn’t care about holding your little sisters, you had other things to do!”

Photographing siblings meeting for the first time

I knew Lil’ J was ready but I had no idea how excited my son was to be a big brother. Protective from the start, and excited to hold her. He asked me if she’d call me mommy too, and he was really concerned about her not opening her eyes (she was sleeping).

It only took a few minutes to record a video while in the hospital of our first few hours with our new baby girl. I didn’t do this with my others, and I knew creating a video was one thing I wanted to do differently this time. I pulled out my new EOS M50 and was able to create something I know we’ll cherish forever:

Tips for capturing first moments with your new baby:

 

  • -It’s not just about video, but sound too: One of my favorite parts of this video is my oldest whispering “I can’t believe it. She’s my sister!”
  • -Zoom in, get the tiny details: hospital wristbands, baby’s name tag, birth weight, and those tiny toes.
  • -Autofocus is BAE: Take advantage of your touch screen and auto-focusing to give a beautiful cinematic look to your videos.
  • -Flip your screen up: And get yourself in the video. You can prop your camera up on a nearby shelf or send it out
  • -Don’t be afraid to pass your camera along: If you can’t or don’t feel up to getting up right away, pass it along to a friendly nurse or your partner. I had my husband take the camera as our baby went over for her first measurements.

 

The best advice I can give to parents wanting to record and savor these early days is to keep your camera handy. I find when my camera is out and within reach I’m more likely to use it and record great video of our newborn. Try setting it in a place you know you’ll be with your baby. I kept mine on the diaper changer for a few days, recorded that part of our routine, then moved it near a seat where I nurse her. I’ve captured a lot of sweet moments this way.

Photographing siblings meeting for the first time

These first few months with a new baby become so hazy. The days are long but the years are short. A lot of days I can’t wait until it’s bedtime. Yet I can’t believe our little baby has already been alive a month. Years later, I know I’ll be so glad I took some time to record these moments and I’m sure you will be too!

You deserve to have great photos and video to look back on and cherish as your family grows up. I’m teaming up with Canon again to share how we capture special moments as a family and to help you learn how to capture some awesome moments with yours.

When people ask about my plans to homeschool my son I can never give a straight answer. “He doesn’t really listen to me,” I usually say at one point. He doesn’t like to sit and draw, or follow my direction. My daughter LOVED to draw when she was four. She loved to cut and create art and she’d work on any project I’d give her. My son just is not that way. But you know what? He surprised me this week. I grabbed a new workbook I’d had on the shelf for months. It’s a guide to teach your kids to read allegedly in just 100 lessons.

I sat down on a bunch of pillows and asked him to come sit on my lap. I turned to the first lesson and began, half expecting him to run away before I finished the first question. But, he stayed and listened and participated. Halfway through he grabbed his stuffed shark to practice with us. And he asked me to talk in a “shark voice” while we finished. But he was all in. Focused, saying letter sounds and even grasping the concept of following multiple letters and saying their sounds. A skill my daughter didn’t have at that age.

I don’t like to compare them but I think to some degree it’s natural. My daughter is bright, inquisitive, creative and talkative. My son is detail-oriented, playful and extremely silly. One thing I’ve loved about homeschooling is finding out what excites my kids and gets them enthusiastic about learning then tailoring the way I teach to that.

My daughter has shown a big interest in mythology since we’ve been reading the Percy Jackson series. This month my daughter and I have been doing a lot of our lessons surrounding Greek mythology. We tie in spelling words, language arts, hand writing and even science and math. With my son I help teach him letter sounds and addition and subtraction using snacks and his little Cars characters.

On their LeapFrog Epic they both love using their their LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet for entirely different reasons. On her profile my daughter loves to play all of the games that increase in difficulty and adapt to her level as she goes. We don’t have a video game system so all of these new apps are so fun for her. I don’t think she even realizes they are learning games, or if she does, it doesn’t keep her from wanting to play them.

My son though, using the exact same tablet, on his profile plays with it differently. He isn’t as into games yet, or at least hasn’t found one he wants to keep playing over and over. However, he loves the LeapFrog Factory videos. Especially the one with a shark that looses his teeth and they sing and count how many he needs. And another that goes through all of the letter sounds. He’s always enjoyed learning through music. I should make some time to snag it from my kids and play some of the games myself so I can find some I think he would like and set them to the top of the navigation menu on his profile.

Big T is 4 and Lil’ J is 7 and they learn and play in different ways, so it’s not always easy to find a gift both of them love. They both consider the LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition a winner and I’m pretty thrilled about that. Now I just have to decide if should add another to the Christmas list or if I continue to let them master the art of sharing.


I’m passionate about getting my children excited about learning. That’s why I’ve partnered with LeapFrog for 2017, to share our journey to making learning fun and inspiring my kids to be the best they can be.  The LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition is a great gift for kids ages 3-9 that love to learn and have fun all at once. New customers also save 25% and get an extended free trial of LeapFrog AcademyTM when they register their LeapFrog EpicTM Academy Edition. Purchase a LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet and signup for a 3-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy, $5.99 per month after the trial period ends. LeapFrog Academy guides kids on a variety of fun Learning Adventures that explore a blend of math, reading, science, creativity, problem solving and social-emotional skills, You can learn more about the program and sign up for a free trial here.

LeapFrog Epic Tablet Academy Edition is the one of the best tablets for young kids. Here's why...

“Are you going to homeschool your son too?” It’s a question I am getting a lot lately. And to be honest, I’m not sure.

Since my son was only 3 when we started this homeschool endeavor I didn’t give it much thought. But now it’s something I feel like I should start considering.

He’s completely different than my daughter who welcomes the challenge of homeschool, and, well.. Actually listens to me. He learns differently. My son isn’t one to sit down and color, or practice writing letters, or even craft for very long. I still have to find a method that works best for him. But so far I know what it’s not, and that’s sitting still and following my instructions.

Deciding whether or not to homeschool a sibling. Homeschooling and unschooling methods that work for different students.
Deciding whether or not to homeschool a sibling. Homeschooling and unschooling methods that work for different students.

He behaves well for others. In his little mother’s morning out program he participates and follows instruction. He’s still his silly self, but he seems a bit more contained. Around me he lets loose and feels free to be as silly (and sometimes disobedient) as he wants.

This fall he’ll be entering Pre-K. My husband and I have been debating the local half-day program, keeping him in his twice a week gymnastics/casual school program (which I’m opting for), or homeschooling him “full-time” alongside his sister. I’m debating the last option because, well… I like my sanity.

He’s most in his element in two situations: Building (specifically his wooden train tracks and unit blocks). And when we leave the table, desks and books behind and head outside to run, jump and climb.

Deciding whether or not to homeschool a sibling. Homeschooling and unschooling methods that work for different students.

“What are we gonna do?” he asks me when I tell him we’re going to do something fun. When I grab his Stride Rite sandals and his helmet, he knows we’re in for an adventure.

“Are we going to see water?” He’ll ask me as I strap his sandals to his feet. A sunny day and no socks usually leads him to this assumption.

It was my goal to ditch the indoors and do more outside, even if just in our backyard or our neighborhood playground. From catching toads (ok, well I catch them, they run and scream from me), to identifying caterpillars and butterflies, they are natural explorers. We did quite a bit of that, but not as much as I had hoped. More on my first year of homeschool summary and thoughts soon, but for now I’ll say that we’re planning to continue our lessons through the summer, and definitely involve more play and discovery.

Deciding whether or not to homeschool a sibling. Homeschooling and unschooling methods that work for different students.

This is when my son gets in his own little zone. He picks up a rock and tries to see how far he can throw it into the pond. He asks about bugs and other creatures we discover. He’ll play nice with his sister, follow directions and stretch his wings while also staying close enough to be safe.

In so many ways these are reasons homeschooling him would be a perfect environment. We’d have the freedom to learn in unconventional ways.

I’m just beginning to understand how he loves to learn, but I’m hoping to tap into that so that no matter where he is, I can give him what he needs to not only learn, but thrive.


Deciding whether or not to homeschool a sibling. Homeschooling and unschooling methods that work for different students.

I’m teaming up with Stride Rite over the next few months to share our family adventures and style. These are the Phibian Sneaker Sandals. From the parks to the pool, my kids can keep them on all day. They’re machine washable, quick to try and made for the land, sea and everywhere in between. Check out the full line with an array of colors. All opinions are my own. 

Apr
19
2017

Our Perfect Pair


On our first dream board my husband and I printed and glued stock photos of two kids. A boy and a girl. These images were symbols of our dream children. Just two, like a brand new pair of shoes, they’d be our perfect pair.

We were excited for the future but we also had some fears. I worried they would look nothing like me and I’d spend a lifetime swatting off “are you the nanny?” questions.

And then what it would be like for our little biracial children growing up? We weren’t sure where we’d be living–Utah, Georgia, the Midwest, or the South. Would our children fit in or stick out? Both my husband and I have lived experiences on either end of the spectrum, but we knew things would be different still for our children. If neither I or their dad ever really understood what it felt like to be multiracial, at least they would share that in common.

Now, more than a decade later, we’re in the middle of Texas (the best part, if I might add) my children are homeschooled and a part of diverse co-ops and athletic activities. My worries about them being different or not fitting in have dwindled significantly.

We wished for a brother and sister pair and that’s what we got. We hoped they’d be best friends, and while some days that title is debatable–Most of the time, they are best friends.

“He wants to match me,” my daughter will often say as I’m dressing her brother.

So I grabbed his Stride Rite sandals and a pink shirt to go along with her new sandals and colorful outfit.

She is a thoughtful big sister. She looks out for him, defends him, helps him with little tasks and wants nothing more than to snuggle and squeeze the dickens out of him.

He prefers her company over her hugs, but there’s no one else he’d rather play with. And if you ask him who his favorite friends is, he always replies “my sister!”

Things won’t not always be easy for these two. Some of their battles may be about their differences from others, and they may feel like it’s them against the world. Other times they’ll likely team up opposite of their dad and I. And more than likely, many of their battles will be disagreements between each other. But the important thing is they’re on the same team. Two kids from two parents who dreamt of them long before they were born.

Our perfect little pair teaming up to take on the world.

How do your kids get along?


 I’m teaming up with Stride Rite over the next few months to share our family adventures and style. These are Lil’ J’s Mellie sandals she loves to wear with everything from shorts to dresses. And Big T’s are the cute Issac Sandals, perfect for outings where he may get wet. We also are loving this new Lottie style as well at the Perlas. Stay tuned for more of Lil’ J’s fashion shoots. She can’t wait to show you.  

Siblings can be the worst of enemies or the best of friends. How we've overcome our fears of raising biracial children in America.

“When do you use your imagination?” I asked my daughter this week.

“At playgrounds and pools, riding bikes, playing with chalk, playing with water balloons…” Her list went on.

It probably would be easier to say when she ISN’T using her imagination.

“With water balloons? Really?” I ask. “How do you use your imagination when you’re playing with water balloons?

Without skipping a beast she replies, “The water balloons are fire bombs. And if I get hit by it that means I just got fire bombed. And if I catch it, that means I get to throw it back and if daddy misses it he gets burned.”

Intrigued by her response, I wanted to know more.

The power of a child's imagination. Encouraging them to play outside and have fun.

“What do you imagine when you’re riding a bike?” I ask.

“We pretend we’re a character from a movie, like Lightning McQueen or Chick or Francesco from Cars,” she said. “Or we pretend we’re dinosaurs and one is trying to chase the other.”

Now this is really something.

“What about when you’re swinging?

“When we’re swinging on the swing set we pretend we’re flying somewhere. Like to Utah or a football game, Australia.”

“What about in this picture? What were you doing?”

The power of a child's imagination. Encouraging them to play outside and have fun.

“I was imagining that I was on the moon jumping, seeing how the gravity is.”

“Do you ever just play or are you always imagining stuff?”

“I ALWAYS use my imagination.”

“Why?”

“Because one of the things I love to do is imagine because it’s fun and it makes games fun.”

“What about something like cleaning your room?”

“How could I use my imagination for that?” She asked.

“You could pretend to be Cinderella, ordered to clean a room.

She thought about this for a moment then decided that was a pretty good idea for completing her task. She asked me to help by acting like the Evil Stepmother giving a command.

I’ve always seen my daughter as a having an extremely wild imagination. This often leads to her sneaking into our room at night, fearful of the monsters or witches that may come into her room.

My son isn’t much different. Sometimes he pretends to be a vicious predator like his favorite dinosaur toys. Other times he’s meowing as he tries to curl on my lap like a little kitten.

The power of a child's imagination. Encouraging them to play outside and have fun.

As a kid I played outside for hours, imagining scenarios from cops and robbers to lost princesses, to super heroes. Watching my children run around the neighborhood with their own little pretend scenarios takes me back to that age and stage where anyone could be anything.

They run from scene to scene only breaking for a quick sip of water, or to scarf down a snack. Sometimes even incorporating it into the game. A gluten-free CLIF Kid Z bar Protein, for example can become a long awaited meal after walking for days through a hot desert.

The last thing I want to do is stifle their dream world.

“Do you use your imagination mommy?” My daughter asked me. The question caught me off guard. I didn’t want to say no, but I was having a hard time thinking of an example. I told her sometimes I imagine I have secret super powers (this is actually a truthful, but very rare occurrence). I also sometimes imagine I’m racing an important clock when I’m trying to clean the house. My imagination also sometimes gets the best of me when I picture worst-case scenarios when we are hiking through a park.

“Do you think you’ll always use your imagination? Even when you’re a grownup?” I asked her.

“YES!” She said. “Because it’s one of the things that makes me, me!”

I hope it always will be.


I’m passionate about getting my children outdoors to play, explore and stay active. That’s why I’ve partnered with CLIF for 2017, to share our adventures together as a family. CLIF Kid Zbar Protein bars have 5 grams of protein and are now gluten free! You can learn more about this product here.

The power of a child's imagination. Encouraging them to play outside and have fun.

It’s fairly quiet. Well–No one is screaming or crying in frustration. That’s a win in my book.

I hear giggling in the other room. Completing the task I’m working on is temping, but the lure of my children’s’ happiness pulls me in like a siren’s song.

I walk to the room they’re in and peek around the wall. If they see me it might disappear before I can catch it, soak it in.

They’re playing together. Laughing together. Helping each other. They actually look like… Friends.

It’s hard for me to pin point the best part about having kids. But in this moment I’m going to vote and say it’s their friendship.

siblings-hanging-out-2

kids jumping on the bed

What’s your favorite part about having kids?

 

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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