The Christmas Pickle Tradition in Our House

The Christmas Pickle Tradition

by Adrienne Lavine

Christmas Pickle Tradition

Christmas Pickle Tradition for Colin

Having our first child, Colin,in August was the most thrilling experience for my husband and me.

With the holiday upon us, we have been trying to think of new ideas to be creative and fun and start traditions with our little family of three.

We stumbled upon the Christmas Pickle Tradition.

When our son is old enough we plan on hiding the pickle ornament somewhere on the tree on Christmas Eve and on in the morning once Colin finds the pickle he can open his first Xmas present.
I can’t wait until he is old enough to really enjoy the Holiday.

Right now it is all about the tree lights.

We are sharing the Christmas Pickle Book with him this season because it is never too early for books.

I also think the Christmas Pickle Tradition will be something to look forward to when Colin can share it with a little brother or sister.

Christmas Past, Present and Future

Christmas Past, Present and Future

As Christmas approaches, I become more and more reflective.

My thoughts return to Christmas Past,

then move on to Christmas Present

and finally,

I try to glimpse at what might be Christmas Future.

Christmas Past

Memories of early Christmas celebrations take me to NYC and all its magic and hustle and bustle. I loved it! So many Santas on every street corner ringing bells for donations, almost overwhelming to a small child. One of my favorite holiday traditions was with my dad shopping at Saks for monogrammed hankies wrapped in the traditional green and red Saks box which was always tied with a beautiful satin ribbon.


Of course the day would not be complete without skating underneath the Rockefeller Center Tree.

Christmas Tree Rockefeller CenterWhile my mom worked my Nana, took hold of the home front, and created Christmas memories as only a grandmother can. She was a wonderful cook and loved the Christmas season. She brought with her a strong faith so the story of Christmas in our house always included the Christ Child along with a visit from Santa Claus.

As years went on, Christmas memories were made in my own home and with my own family. I tried to create the feeling of Christmas the same way my grandmother had so many years before. My mother and uncle usually celebrated with us…they would come from Florida and enjoy brunch, our Christmas tradition in Chicago and then help with baking, cooking and decorating for the big day. It was a holiday full of warmth and love and now indelible memories.

Christmas Present

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My husband and I are now the “older” generation and we happily celebrate Christmas with our family which this year includes, a granddaughter and a new grandson.  We continue to make new memories built on the old ones which included great-grandparents our grandchildren will never know except through our traditions.

Our tree is in the same place it has been for the past 20+ years…it is decorated with ornaments each telling its own story of where our family has lived and traveled since 1977…New York, Florida, Chicago and Rhode Island. It has 3000 lights, so in some ways it is my Rockefeller Center right here at home!

Christmas Future

As an old year is coming to an end, I am looking at the future with of course some trepidations which come with age but they are soothed by the loving hugs of my granddaughter and my little grandson and the wonder and amazement that they bring to this house that has seen the footsteps of those who came before them.

The Christ Child is still here and Santa will soon ring his bells over our house.

christmas creche

The presents still wait to be wrapped…and the best is yet to come!

Baby development at 3 months and 3 weeks old!

Baby development

baby development

So many changes in baby development over such a short time!

He is learning so much:

He is starting to make conclusions about his world

He has so much curiosity

He loves looking at himself

He may like a toy with an unbreakable mirror so he can see himself and admire his looks even though he won’t really know that it is him he is looking at.

Sleeping and baby development:

  • Sleep patterns may be solidifying making it easier for you to get some rest. Gratefully my little grandson is a great little sleeper but some babies to not settle into a nice pattern until 6 months old. Baby should be now taking two daytime naps.


Interacting with others:

  • Your baby may stop eating to listen to you talking to him so talk to him about what you are doing in the kitchen and around the house and let him coo and talk back to you.
  • He is also starting to laugh…what a joy it is to hear his laughter.
  • Keep him close so he can hear everything…he will really like watching other babies and toddlers and even you dogs and cats. But be careful of him around your pets and make sure the environment is safe.

Grab and go

  • Your baby can reach for things now and is mastering grabbing give him interesting things to play with and hold.

Individual babies:

These baby development guidelines are they happen at different times for different babies. If you have questions please consult your healthcare provider.

Baby's First Christmas


Your life: Changing friendships

Having a new baby brings changes in your relationships with everyone — including your friends. Sometimes old friends who have no children are as delighted by your baby as you are, and aside from a few accommodations to your schedule, things continue as they once did. But others may not be as excited about your new phase of life. Some may be envious, others bored, and still others may simply have no interest in children. You can’t blame your friends entirely. You’re changing, too. Interests you once shared with certain people — skydiving, nightclubbing, shopping for shoes till you dropped — may no longer mesh with your lifestyle.

Although you can’t expect everything to stay exactly the same, it helps to strive for a balance between your old way of being together and your new situation. Your friend can’t expect you to abandon all thoughts of your baby, and you can’t expect her to want to talk only about motherhood. Look for common ground in your activities and time together. It’s great if you can sometimes go out to lunch, just the two of you, and other times have her come to your house to visit with the baby, for example.

You may drift apart from some pals, but at the same time, your baby will bring you into the orbit of new friends. Through playgroups, mom support networks, and chance encounters, you and your partner will meet other new parents with whom you have a lot in common.

Source: Your 3-month-old: Week 3 | BabyCenter

If you feel sad or depressed at this time, you may be experiencing Postpartum Depression please contact you healthcare provider for help.

PostPartum Progress is very helpful resource for PPD also.

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop


Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Another weekend is upon us and we have yet another shooting to think about.

This week has been a seriously tragic one as we here in the United States watched yet another “mass shooting” take place in San Bernardino California. My gaze was riveted on the television screen as the helpers tried to assist the victims and the police tried to hunt down the shooters.

Growing up in NY, I was made aware of my surroundings at a very early age. It was necessary in order for me to remain safe from predators, who wanted to steal your purse or your life from you. Stranger danger was just a fact of my life as a city kid.

My alertness is therefore second nature, I lock everything, I look around me in garages, I carry pepper spray. But now there is a different anxiety and alertness that I live with, it permeates me from my core as I think about my granddaughter at school, my own daughters as they go about their lives and my husband as he works to save lives.

What happened in San Bernardino CAN happen anywhere at anytime!

This morning I have to share some stories with you about what we can do concerning the violence in our country and our neighborhoods.

It is serious stuff when other countries like Australia are now warning their citizens that travel to the United States is dangerous at this time of violence.

The following is a piece written by Noah Pozner’s grandmother published this weekend on her blog Farine . Noah’s life was violently ended in school at Sandy Hook. He was only six. Please read.

time to pause this weekendf you truly care, if you are not just paying lip-service to the awfulness of the moment, if you want our country to change, here is what you can do:Join a grass-root effort: Everytown for Gun Safety is a good place to start;Champion gun safety among your friends and relatives (and if you do own guns, please start at home);Call your congressmen and let them know what you expect from them;Vote with both your conscience and your heart in the next election.

Source: Another mass shooting 

My faith is important to me and prayer is part of my life but I agree there is more to solving a problem than “thoughts and prayers”.

We must take action and responsibility for making our country a safer place not just for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren. Think about what you can do…even small actions can make a difference.


Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage,” tweeted Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. “Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing — again.”A day after the California carnage, the Senate decided to do nothing, again, voting down a measure that would have made it more difficult for people on the terror watch list, felons and the mentally ill to buy guns.


Source: No More Thoughts and Prayers – The New York Times


The collective we are not doing enough! This weekend I hope some  most of us will do something to help prevent more gun violence.

Another day, another ghastly shooting in America.So far this year, the United States has averaged more than one mass shooting a day, according to the ShootingTracker website, counting cases of four or more people shot. And now we have the attack on Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., that killed at least 14 people.

Source: On Guns, We’re Not Even Trying – The New York Times

I know this is a stressful time of year but for some people it is an extremely sad time as well. Please take time out this weekend to think about what you can do to make a difference.

New parents never sleep…really!




Sleep like a baby but not when you have a baby!

sweet baby sleep


Sleep has become an obsession since the last trimester of pregnancy according to my daughter, who now has a three month old.

Tired is how she describes herself

Fortunately my grandson is a decent sleeper and has been since about 5 weeks old.

Some how that does not ease the new parent fatigue…feeding, diaper changing, napping, feeding, changing, tummy time…more feeding and changing.

It seems that rest escapes many parents from the birthday of their first baby.

I wish I could say that this changes as baby gets older…

But really…

It does not get better

At times It actually gets worse

randomly waxing  and waning.

Here is how sleep goes…

  • Sleep becomes difficult during the third trimester of pregnancy, probably to get you ready for the parenting road ahead.
  • After the baby is born, you will initially be up peeing and then feeding and changing your newborn every 2 to 4 hours. It will seem like a never ending cycle.

Sleep deprivation really begins to take hold now so you might as well get used to it.


  • If you go to bed late because you want to watch a movie or even read a book that will definitely be the night your little one (no matter the age) will wake up screaming for whatever reason at around 3 am.


  •  Have no fear the teen years provide no relief because then you will be worrying about your kids being out till curfew or later.

You might as well face it you might sleep again when your kids go to college

It is a plus for the “empty nest”.

Many have traveled this foggy road of sleep deprivation which is little consolation.

What are some of the ways you deal with sleep deprivation?

Do you have empathy for sleep deprived parents?