Posts Tagged ‘ baby on plane ’

Holiday Charm: A Great Gift!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Cynthia Roelle, mom to a 2-year-old daughter and award-winning photographer, shares a great gift idea that travels the world.

With the holidays fast approaching, Jill asked if I’d like to write something about my charm bracelet. Giddy with the thought of enticing others to start their own charm bracelets, I was more than happy to oblige. Now it’s 2:45 in the morning, my brain is fried, and I’m questioning my enthusiasm. But here goes:

I love my charms. I started my bracelet about 10 years ago when my husband and I moved to Germany. Over the years I’ve traveled the world with it. I’ve planned trips to augment it. I’ve lost it. I’ve found it. I wrecked my friend’s BMW for it. (Not my fault!) I even ran across a country for it.

Okay, so Liechtenstein is itty-bitty, but run across it I did. Our course meandered from the Austrian to the Swiss border through a spectacularly beautiful Alpine valley. It was a memorable and fun eight miles, though purely a ruse to get my friends excited about a 500-mile round trip for a half-inch blob of silver. Fortunately, Liechtenstein was charm-friendly.

It’s a quest to find the quintessential charm for each place I’ve been. A gondola from Italy, an elephant from Thailand, a Taweez (talisman) from Iraq, and a Ganesh from India are among my favorites.

The most coveted are those with moving parts—the hula girl with the grass skirt that swishes and sways; the windmill with blades that turn; the beer stein with the lid that opens and closes; the Swiss cowbell with a miniature clapper so inordinately noisy I had to glue it down.

My bracelet is a travelogue of all the places I’ve visited. It’s a transportable collection. An instant conversation starter.

It pains me to admit this, but my beloved charm bracelet is also bothersome beyond belief. It’s heavy, for one. A no-joke one-arm workout. And it jangles to the point of distraction, for another.

It also pokes rakes my wrist if I wear it more than an hour or two. But the worst part is that it gets caught on everything. The darn Minoan Goddess with her pointy little snakes-that-may-as-well-be-fish-hooks is the principal offender. Clearly I’ve offended her highness. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve gotten my arm hung up in some impossible position…I’d buy more charms.

Collecting them is oh-so-much fun. In fact, I have not one, but two charm bracelets. Apparently I’m into self-torture. I justify it though because I had no choice but to split out the domestic and international charms when I could no longer lift my wrist. I know, it’s a terrible problem to have.

I’ve charmed numerous friends, Jill being one of them, into starting bracelets of their own. And when Fia was born, I bought her a bracelet and her very first charm. I think (and Jill agrees) that it’s a sweet and unique baby gift! Think holidays, everyone!

Of course, I’ve also started collecting charms for my daughter. She’s only 2, so I haven’t mapped out the details. And she hasn’t been to 40 countries like I have. Yet. I don’t know if I’ll save them up and give them all to her when she turns a certain age (I imagine her opening the box and squealing with delight), or if we’ll collect them together on our family’s travels. Both options hold appeal.

Either way, I look forward to sharing many charm adventures with my daughter.

If you, too, share a love for charms, tell me about your collection. Or if you’re interested in starting a charm bracelet of your own but have questions—from where to find charms to how to attach them—leave a comment and I’ll tell you what works best for me.

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Entertaining Your Toddler

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Playing With Magnets

I came across something I wanted to share. I bought this string of magnets you see on her lap in the photo above. They are polished and smooth (rocks?), about the size of four lima beans squished together (sorry, it’s the best measurement I can come up with). I bought 10 of them for $2.00. They have proven to be invaluable. I’ve found that they can entertain Fia up to 30 minutes at a time. I used them on a recent trip to South Dakota when she tired of the DVD on the plane. I also used them at a restaurant this weekend when we were waiting for our food.

Since they are magnetic, they all want to stick to each other, which I can tell both baffles and fascinates her. She’ll take them apart, then get one close to another and wham; they instantly bond back to each other. I figure it will be awhile before she has a science class that will explain the mysterious ways of the magnet.

I bought them at a gift shop, but if you keep your eyes open, you can probably find them just about anywhere. One thing I will caution: I would only allow your child to play with them supervised. They are a bit small and smooth, so could be a choking hazard.

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