Monday, November 13, 2017

(Mostly) Horrible yet entertaining Christmas Movie Rundown

I realize that it's the week before Thanksgiving but it's already that time of year again, Holiday music playing in your car and Christmas movies on your television.  The girls and I started watching holiday films on Netflix this weekend did you?

I've done some research the last couple years and watched oh-so-many Xmas films.  Here are a few short summaries/rundowns so you can decide what to watch and what to skip.  Call it one of my last Christmas Presents for my blog readers.  You're welcome!


Holiday in Handcuffs - Avoid this one at all costs.  Way too cheesy with an impossibly horrendous story line that I couldn't get past.  Well that and the makeup on Mario Lopez.

The 12 Dates of Christmas (2011) - Cheesy but actually entertaining.  It is a take on Groundhog day where the main character relives the same Christmas Eve (with another Saved By the Bell actor) over and over for 12 days.

A Princess for Christmas (2011) - Family movie, definitely made-for-TV but not too painful to watch.  Basic plot is a young aunt raising her daughter's 2 kids after their mother-father died (the year before).  Cue rich/titled foreign and estranged (b/c his son married a commoner) Grandfather to invite them to visit his castle for Christmas.  Enter young handsome uncle who happens to be a Prince and I bet you can figure out what happens next.

Bridget Jones Diary (2001) - A classic.  I love all of the dreamy snow swirling around at night scenes.

Four Christmases (2008) - A Major Motion film, no made-for-TV here.  This one had Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn.  A bit crass, not at all appropriate for the family (the first scene includes having sex in a bar bathroom) but it made a good date-night show for my husband and me.

Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason (2004) - Ah, another relatively painful movie to watch due to her bumbling antics.  This movie is much less of a Christmas-y film as only the first and last scenes take place at Christmas-time.  Not exactly a Christmas classic but entertaining none-the-less.

Love Actually (2003) - A feel good Christmas-time movie.  If this one doesn't make you laugh and then cry at the end you probably are the Grinch.  This one will make you want to hug everyone around you during the final scene.  I will point out that it is another non-family movie as there is nudity and adult elements (sex, porn and swearing to name a few).

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (1964) - The classic of all classic children's Christmas films.  This movie was made with claymation in the 60's.  It's a surprisingly long (in-my-opinion) movie about Rudolph and the elf that wanted to be a dentist.  They didn't fit in but found each other and saved Christmas by being themselves.

Holiday Engagement (2011) - Another made for TV movie, this one has Shellie Long in it.  I'm not going to lie, it was Cheesy with a capital C.  However, it was a step up from Holiday in Handcuffs so it wasn't the worst on the list.  Let's just say the ending (obvious green screen and all) will make you laugh and that's something!  The family could watch this one but I think kids would be pretty bored, it has a more grown-up storyline.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) - I think this one is reaching a little as a "Christmas" movie.  If anything I'd say it's a Valentine's Movie since the last scene takes place on Feb 14th but it was on a Christmas list so I watched it.  I love this film as it brings back memories of watching it in my college dorm on a regular basis.  Ha!  I went to school in Seattle so it was fitting I guess.  Anyway it's a sweet film and mostly family appropriate (there are a few swear words here and there as well as the theme of death/loss).

White Christmas (1954) - A must see Christmas Musical from the 1950s with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney crooning and freaky-small waisted Vera-Ellen dancing (seriously, it was only 17 inches around in this film!!!).  Complete with snow and ending with "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas".  Love this one!

Christmas Lodge (2011) - This was a made-for-TV movie with a religious theme.  It's what you would expect (no swear words or improper scenes here and NO Santa) and although it's family-friendly (of course) I don't think my daughter would have been interested.  I'd say it's better for the 11 and up crowd.  Not my favorite but it still beats Holiday in Handcuffs.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (2007) - Not bad, but a little long and cheesy.  Lots of dancers kicking and costume changes.  Kids enjoyed most of it, but got bored part way through.

Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (1986) This is my favorite version of the Nutcracker.  We have a VHS version but no longer have a VHS player.  Sigh.  For a few years it was on Netflix around Christmastime.  If you can find it watch it!  It is a lovely full stage presentation from the 1980s (Pacific Northwest Ballet).  You may be able to find it other places online as well.  And if anyone wants to buy or borrow my VHS copy just let me know. :)

12 Dog Days Till Christmas (2014) Troubled foster teenager has to do community service at Christmastime.  He's assigned to find homes for 12 unwanted dogs.  Add awkward acting, some teen angst and a little romance and you've got a family-friendly holiday film that may be more interesting to your tweens/teens than younger kids. There are a couple familiar C list actors in this film but the real draw are the dogs.  My dog loving kids enjoyed all the dog scenes and tolerated the rest. :)

Happy Christmas (2014) I'm a big Anna Kendrick fan so she's the main reason I watched this film.  It's story about a 20-something woman (Kendrick) who after a breakup moves in with her brother and his wife/baby.  She's irresponsible (drinking/partying) and her sister-in-law is a bored SAHM.  The film is low budget and although it has Christmas in the title it's a stretch to call it a Christmas film (or Happy for that matter!).  This is an adult film, not so much family friendly. 


Christmas Belle (2013) Belle (Haylie Duff) is sent to handle the sale of an estate and it's contents the week before Christmas. Add a suitor back home and a grumpy/Grinch (often shirtless Nicholas Gonzales) estate owner and you've got a Holiday Love triangle!  I won't give the (somewhat drawn out) ending away but this movie although expectedly cheesy is worth a view.  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Unicorn Birthday Party Part II


I'm back with Part II of my daughter's 10th Unicorn Birthday Party!  Today I'll go over our activities, games and favors.


Unicorn Name Game

This was our only game and lasted during the whole party.  When the girls first arrived they looked up their unicorn names using our chart and wrote them on a name tag.  For the rest of the party the girls referred to each other by their unicorn names.  If they slipped and accidentally used their real names they got a line on their name tag.  Whoever had the least amount of lines at the end of the party was the winner!

My unicorn name was Perky Happy Feet by the way. Ha!

Note: Adults were exempt from the game!



Unicorn Photo Booth

Another fun activity appropriate for the tween set was a photo booth.  I ordered a (cheap) background and also Photo Props from Amazon and set them up in one of the rooms.  I had each girl take photos alone, with the birthday girl and in any other combinations they wanted.  So fun!


The grownups enjoyed the photos too. ;)



Unicorn Poop Eraser

Our first craft was creating "Unicorn Poop".  I'm telling you, this was a hit!  We used eraser clay and had the girls roll out colors, combine them and make a poop pile shape.  Ha!  Added a little glitter, baked them in the oven and voila - a poop eraser!

Eraser clay was a first for me, but it's pretty easy to use!  I ordered our clay from Amazon and found directions on YouTube for making the poop shape.  I had the girls watch the YouTube video first and then they were off (easier than explaining it myself).




Unicorn Pumpkin Decorating

We saw a few versions of pumpkin decorating on Pinterest and adapted them to fit our needs.  I bought little white pumpkins ($1 each!) rather than painting orange ones.  This project was appropriate for the party and the time of year, since my daughter's birthday is right before Halloween. 

For decorating we used:
-Crayola Model Magic to form the horns 
-Flowers from Hobby Lobby, separated so each girl could use some (about 4-5 each)
-Curling Ribbons for hair and tails.
-Sharpie pen to draw on faces 
-Pink and white foam sheets to cut out ear shapes

We attached their chosen items with hot glue and patience.  



Unicorn Pinata

The Unicorn Pinata from Target was a big hit (haha).  At only $15.49 and free shipping it was a great deal too! We filled it with tween goodies including:

-Tiny nail polish bottles (wrapped in bubble wrap so they wouldn't break)
-Pop Rocks
-Unicorn stretch toys
-Rainbow Skittles
-Rainbow Hair Ties



Favors

We used the homemade Unicorn Goodie Bags for the girls to place their pinata goodies inside.  

They also received:

-unicorn cookies
-unicorn headbands
-unicorn Poop eraser
-unicorn Pumpkin

A grand haul!

For more information on the cookies, snacks and decorations check out: Unicorn Birthday Party Part I

Here are some links for the products that I used for the party:

  



Thursday, November 9, 2017

Another (unconventional) first

I'm one of those moms that document as many of my kid's firsts as possible.  First teeth, first steps, first airplane trip, first day of school, etc.  However, we also keep track of other firsts like first time getting out of the crib, first public tantrum and first blowout. ;)


Yesterday's first was my youngest's first ER visit!  Also first cut requiring medical attention.  Fortunately she didn't need stitches, just some glue.  Also she was lucky enough to have the cut right at her eyebrow so scarring will be less likely. 

She was a trooper, enjoying all the attention from the nurses and staff.  She was reluctant to have the purple glue attached but only fussed a little. A popsicle and toy helped cheer her up.

Here's hoping we don't have anymore medical firsts this year such as first broken bone or stitches! 

Note: The cut happened at school when some kids tripped her and she fell on the playground steps. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Unicorn Birthday Party! Part I


My big beautiful girl turned 10 last month and we celebrated with a Unicorn Birthday Party.  Now that she's older we had a fun time planning this party together. It was a small party but full of lots of Unicorns!

Today I'm going to show our decorations and food, then I'll be back for the games, activities and favors.



First up were the invitations.  We found these beauties at an Etsy shop called Visual6Graphics. They were a steal at only $.65 each (plus shipping) and the quality was fantastic too!


Next up were decorations.  We bought Unicorn Balloons from Party City and regular mylars from the Dollar Tree.







Those beautiful cookies were made by Kim's Cookie Cottage here in Phoenix.  She is an amazing cookie artist who can make anything!  We used the cookies as decorations and each girl got to take a unicorn cookie home. The gold charger was from Dollar Tree. 



See those adorable unicorn bags?  We made those to use as decorations and also treat bags.  It was an easy and fun project we just cut out ear and horn shapes (from foam sheets) and colored them with pink or gold markers.  Simple sharpe drawn eyes and that's all we needed!










The girls and I matched the theme by wearing Unicorn leggings!  The girls's leggings are from Target and mine are from Lularoe. The birthday girl had a matching Unicorn t-shirt from Target and see those Unicorn headbands?  Those were from Target too, only $3 each ($2 if you do store p/u)!  The biggest steal was the pink "Full time Unicorn" tank tops that I found for me and my BFF.  They were on clearance at Charming Charlie and ended up only costing $2 each!  



Most of the other decorations were from Target including the tablecloth, plates, napkins and rainbow Unicorn straws! The rainbow tray is from Ikea.

Those pretty rainbow floats were made out of rainbow sorbet and sprite.  Our other snacks included popcorn and of course cupcakes!



Thankfully here in Phoenix late October is still nice and warm so the girls enjoyed cupcakes on the back patio.  In fact my daughter was almost too hot in her long-sleeved T. :)

I'll be back later with the games, activities and favors. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween from My Friends :)


My friends wanted to wish you a Happy Halloween!  Ha, sorry couldn't resist.  These Fisher Price My Friend Dolls do have costumes though and are ready to Trick-or-Treat.

And one more from our Vintage Fisher Price Little People. 



For past Halloween Fun check out:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lost and Found

I've got a little story to share with you today.

Once upon a time there was a woman who loved to hike (when it wasn't over 100 degrees!) and went as often as she could.  One lovely (and sort of warm) morning she hiked up her favorite trail keeping a good pace and working up a nice "glow" (ha!).  


When she arrived back home she realized with much distress that her Driver's License was missing out of her oh-so-fashionable CamelBak hiking fanny pack.  It must have slipped out one of them times she switched the music on her phone.  Sigh.


She immediately but somewhat reluctantly returned to the preserve to re-trace her steps.  Back up the steep trail she hiked, much slower this time since she was both tired and scanning all over for the ID.  She also asked every single hiker/biker that she passed if they'd seen her license.

Despite hiking the entire trail her license was not recovered.  So she returned back home even more tired, hot and downright smelly than before. She reported the license as lost to the police and drove very very carefully to pick up her kids from school.  Sigh.

Later that afternoon the most amazing thing happened.  

The doorbell rang and it was a family returning her license!  This family had seen the license on the neighborhood entry box and brought it to the house.  That means that there was another kind person that found her license on the trail and brought it as far as the neighborhood gate.

Kind people are still out there! Happy endings all around. 

The End.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Fisher Price Friday - Chatter Telephone Wireless Speaker


Does this look familiar?  The Chatter Telephone #747 you say?  

Look closer. 


What's that switch on the back?  Why yes, it's an On and Off switch!  This isn't just any Chatter Phone, it's a Wireless Speaker (bluetooth) Phone.  



It looks so much like the original phone (on the right) but is a little more boxy, larger and doesn't move or make clicking sounds.  Instead it plays the music of your choice via your Smartphone or other bluetooth playing device.  So cool.


I pair it with my iPhone to play music in the playroom when I'm hanging out with my girls.  Doesn't it fit right in on the top of our shelving? :)  

They also make a Record Player version but I thought the Chatter Phone was cuter (and smaller).  These players are not that easy to find unfortunately, and as of yet have not been carried widely.  I found my Chatter Phone with a Groupon.  I have seen them on other daily deal sites as well as Cracker Barrel stores.  They run about $30.

It's a super fun addition to our little Fisher Price collection and Christmas is coming so keep a look out to get one of your own!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Digital Into Physical - Blog2Print Books

I shared the news a week ago that I will be closing down my blog at the end of this year.  One of my big concerns when I thought about ending Anne's Odd and Ends was the loss of all my content!  All those photos/stories of my girls growing up as well as recipes.  I use my own blog as a recipe resource almost every week, ha!  So I started researching ways to turn my digital words into a physical book.


My research lead me to select the company Blog2Print to make my memories a reality.  I had 5 (almost 6) years of blog entries so I had to make more than one volume. What I discovered is that the book size is limited by the amount of photos more than the amount of entries.  They could not put more than 2000 in one volume (and 430 pages).  That may sound like a lot but I quickly found that I had too many photos!  They have three photos options (small, medium, large) and I went with the medium choice.  


I ended up making three volumes and will do my last book after I finish out 2017.  Volume I is the biggest at 356 pages, Volume II: 269 and Volume III: 273.  I think that volume IV will be around the same range.  Remember my pages were limited by the number of photos I had which is why I never made it to 430!

So what did I think?

I was very pleased with the book outcome.  It is a big (8x11) hard bound book with professional looking pages, photos and printing.  It included a Contents section (needed to find all those different recipes!) and of course page numbers.  The books can be customized quite a bit, with font, color, cover colors, etc.  I was also able to make a different dedication page for each volume.  


Shipping/Creating took awhile, about 2 weeks from when I ordered the book till I received it.  The books all came VERY well packed, wrapped in bubble sleeves, surrounded by paper in a big box.  No damage there!


These books are definitely not cheap although the cost can be offset with coupons codes and by selecting a softbound cover instead of hard.  Another super budget option is to just buy the PDF version of your book.  Those only cost $8.95!  That way you would have a permanent copy that you could copy later.  My books cost about $120 each (that's with coupon codes).  Worth every penny!

Tips for making your own book cheaper and easier:
  1. Go through your blog ahead and remove all unneeded entries.  Fluff like product sales, promotions, etc.
  2. Go through each blog entry (tedious but worth it!) and remove extra photos.  For example, I didn't really need 5 photos of a soup recipe.  Removing them made my book smaller and easier to read.  I kept all the kid photos though!!
For more information on Blog2Print go here


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Balloons and Button

This week has had it's challenges but it has also been full of the life and beauty of our puppy Button and lots of hot air balloons!  We're coming into that sweet spot of balloon season where the launches/landings correspond with the same time we're headed to school in the morning.


It starts our day (or my morning hikes) off right to see these beauties floating beside, over and around us.  


Button is 13 weeks old now and she continues to be a sweet and time consuming fur-baby family member. :) She is especially fond of our 5 year old fur-baby Bella, and is constantly playing with, chasing and basically pestering her. 


Button is trying to make friends with our senior (13 year old) Dante, but they mostly only spend time together when they're taking naps.  Dante doesn't mind her so much then. 

In fact right now as I type this they are snuggled together next to me just like this photo. *love*

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How my oldest discovered the Tooth Fairy Isn't Real

My firstborn is quickly approaching age 10 (this month!!!) and she just discovered that the Tooth Fairy is Mom.  I was pretty sure she already knew this summer after she peppered me one morning with so so many questions...but she insisted that she believed until her Dad told her the truth.

Yes that's right, her father told her last weekend when she lost tooth #14 that the Tooth Fairy was Mom.  It was my fault because I fell asleep early that night and forgot to slip the note/money under her pillow.  The next morning she came out sad faced to her Dad and he decided it was time to tell her the truth (his response "she's almost 10").  

He sat her down and told her that it was Mom all these years and that she'll still get money even though she knows.  Also that we need to keep the secret from her sister for a few more years (she's only 6).  My daughter took it well and I showed her where I'd collected all her teeth (I know I know, it's weird) and she enjoyed looking them over.

So for now she only believes in Mermaids and Unicorns. Love my big girl!


Tooth #1

For more on how our family does  the Tooth Fairy check out: Tooth Fairy Traditions

Tooth #14

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The end of Anne's Odds and Ends

Dear Readers,

My that sounds so formal, but I'm going with it.  I wanted to let you know that Anne's Odds and Ends is ending at the end of this year.  On January 1st I'm wrapping up this blog and removing it from the Internet.  Well as much as you can actually remove anything from the Internet!

I started this blog back in the beginning of 2012.  I was a SAHM with a baby and a preschooler.  I blogged about babies, recipes, diapering and of course vintage Fisher Price.  It was a way for me to get my voice out into the world when I was at home feeling isolated at times with all things babies and parenting.

It was also a way to share my love of Vintage Fisher Price with the world, and I enjoyed researching, photographing and then sharing our (oh-so-many) different sets with you all.

Six years later I have two school aged children, three Italian Greyhounds and a PT job.  I've also basically run out of vintage Fisher Price toys to share!  Blogging does not bring me as much joy and I've decided that this is a logical time to stop.  

A big part of why I am stopping and also having to remove my blog are the photos.  I have used Photobucket all these years and this summer they completely changed their hosting costs. In order to continue having my pictures appear on Anne's Odds and Ends (after Dec 31st) I would need to pay hundreds of dollars a year.  Since I have thousands of images on here switching to another hosting site and changing all the links is...not going to happen! ;)

I still have more to share with you all before I close up at the end of the year, but I wanted to give you a heads up in case there is a toy reference, recipe or link that you want to jot down before it all goes away.

I have made a hard copy of my blog (more on that later) to keep my memories but this online resource will be disappearing.

Thank you for sharing with me and reading along all these years.  

Sincerely,
Anne 



Friday, September 29, 2017

Today is National Coffee Day!

Oh yes, one of my favorite not-really-holidays is today!!  National Coffee Day!  As I say every year, National Coffee Day is pretty much a daily holiday for us coffee drinkers but it's nice to get a free cup on September 29th.

Here is where you can get some free java today, drink up!

Cinnabon - Free 12 oz coffee
Dunkin Donuts - BOGO free hot coffee
Krispie Kreme - Free any sized hot coffee or small iced coffee all weekend long!

For my local peeps:

Elevate Coffee (Shops at Norterra) - Free 12 oz hot coffee between 6am - 10pm
The Refuge - Free Cup of black coffee all day
Press Coffee Roasters - Free small cup of drip or cold brew
Elly's Brunch and Cafe - Free 12 oz iced cappuccino 



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Puppy! Our days are ruled by a tiny 4 lb ball of energy!


Have I mentioned that we have a puppy? ;)  But seriously, our lives are run by this tiny little 11 week old 4 lb tiny dog.  Fortunately she's as cute and sweet as can be, but she's a handful!  Training is no joke!  A bonus for me is that my husband is doing most of the puppy care/training, whew!

She also takes a lot of naps, so we get some breaks.  In fact right now I am sitting outside on our back patio on my computer while she snoozes next to me.  Now that's living! 


My girls are smitten with this little bundle of energy and I have no trouble getting them out of bed in the mornings, they're excited to see the puppy!  

Our other two Italian Greyhounds are handling the adjustment surprisingly well.  Our senior mostly ignores her but does not resist if she wants to cuddle with him.  He is also eating better, something that is a challenge for him, but he seems more interested now that other dogs are eating at the same time too!



The middle age IG has the hardest job, as she's the one that Button goes to play, chase, jump on and hang out with.  Bella seems often excited to have a friend/playmate, and other times wants her to be far far away.  I get that. :)


My husband made another DIY sock sweater for Button, hey it's a tradition around here!  And sadly it won't last long as she's growing growing growing. Go here for a look at our other two dogs in puppy sock sweaters. 


Other Italian Greyhound Posts:

Friday, September 22, 2017

Talking to Kids about Death

I've been mulling over sharing how my little family dealt with the topic of death this year.  It took me a few months but I'm finally ready.  Earlier this winter my father passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's.  A battle so long that it encompassed my girl's entire lives.  As a result his death was not a surprise, but something we had prepared for for quite some time.  However, there really is only so much you can plan for, even with an expected eventual death there are unexpected emotions and realities.



My father's decline was experienced for some time, and he was living in a Care Home when he passed.  However, the actual passing happened quickly and with only a little notice.  As a result I had to fly out unexpectedly while they were at school to be there in time to be with him as he left this life.  

When I returned home a few days later I started conversations about what happened, his death and how they felt about it all.  It was a process and I found that my youngest was the most effected, she didn't want me out of her sight for quite awhile after my return.  I had to reassure her frequently and spend extra time with her so that she could feel secure again.

Here's what I did and what I would do differently if I could.

Death
What Helped

  1. Honest communication - I allowed my girls to ask questions and to talk about Grandpa's death when it was comfortable for them.   I purchased a couple books online and borrowed one from the library that dealt with death and grieving.  Although no book is a perfect match they at least offer topics for kids to discuss with you.  You can also talk about what ways you agree or disagree with the book, this may be especially important with your family's beliefs on the afterlife.  
  2. Talking about Highs and Lows - We came up with lists of the good and bad parts of Grandpa passing.  For example a good was that Grandpa had his memory back and was whole, also that he got to be with all of his friends and family that were already in heaven!  A low being that we missed him and wouldn't get to see him anymore.
  3. Reassurance - My youngest had a *really* hard time with being away from me after my dad died.  This is mostly because I left while she was at school, so she didn't get to say goodbye.  But also because she folded that feeling/fear into the permanent goodbye of my dad.  Reassuring her that I'm not going anywhere and that I plan to live a long life was helpful to her security.
What I would do Differently
  1. I would have prepared my girls better the day I flew out.  Either by letting them know that there was a possibility I might have to leave that day, or by leaving them messages.  I was in such a hurry and in the midst of grief that I didn't take the space to think of them.

The time between when my Dad died and his funeral and then burial were all weeks and months apart.  The girls joined me at  Dad's funeral almost a month after he died.  We used that time to prepare the girls by talking about what a funeral/memorial service looks like so that they would know what to expect.  As a result they were pretty comfortable on that day and handled the situation really well. 


Memorial Service/Funeral
What Helped
  1. Describe ahead what a memorial service usually looks like.  Talk about how some people may be laughing at times and smiling, and at other times crying.  That both are normal!  Let them know who will most likely be there and that lots of people will be strangers to them, but were close friends to your loved one.
  2. Include your kids in decisions that they can have some say in such as what they will wear.  We were making our own flower arrangements for the church and my oldest was able to help grandma select the flowers and arrange them.
  3. Go over rules regarding behavior and expectations, especially if this church (or any church) is new to your kids.  Talk about voice level, running, etc.
  4. During the service I had the kids sit with my husband (behind me) so that I could experience my own feelings without them having to respond to or take care of me.  I did let them know ahead that mommy might be sad or cry, but that this is totally normal because I am sad about Grandpa passing.  Also that it's okay if they cry and okay if they don't.
Burial

My family waited to bury Dad's ashes until the summer, so it was quite a few months after his memorial.  During the in-between time we talked more about death and I prepared them for the burial.  What it would look like, who would be there and how they could be involved.  


Our situation was a little unique in that Dad was buried in a very small private community cemetery.  As a result we did the actual digging/burying ourselves.  The kids were invited to participate and they both did (happily).  In a more traditional burial you could have your kids place flowers on the grave, or toss flowers on top of a casket.   

We also had a time of remembering Dad where each family member shared a memory of Dad.  The kids were included in this part and were warned ahead so they could prepare. They were given the choice to opt-out, but both of my girls shared something.  Kids could also share a poem, favorite joke or even sing a song.

There is nothing I would do differently with the memorial and the burial.  They were both positive experiences with my girls and I noticed that they were able to process his death as a normal part of life.

We still talk about Grandpa and when I had moments of sadness after his passing I made sure to be honest/open with them.  That way they would normalize sadness and grief as normal reactions to loss.  I let them share how this made them feel and what their hopes were about death ("that mommy lives a long time").

For more information on Dementia 

Talking to Kids about Alzheimer's