The Next Frontier

Because I’ve been at this parenting thing awhile, friends and friends of friends that have become friends, are starting to send their children away to college. I keep seeing it on Facebook … tearful moms, nervous dads, lots of hugs, cute dorm decor. They are sending their kids off to the next frontier, where they will have to solve their own problems and choose their own breakfasts and hopefully mom and dad won’t be tracking their iPhones. UD students move in later in August. Some schools have already started.
Incoming first year students at the University of Virginia move in to their dorms on Friday.
Our hearts are with the Charlottesville community and the people who – in Virginia and everywhere – stand up for what is right even in the face of those holding flaming torches and swastika flags. Our hearts are with the officers charged with keeping the peace. Our prayers are with their mothers. We are sending them the strength to tuck the extra long dorm sheets around the beds so very tightly in order to set their children loosely upon their new frontier, armed with love and history and family and not torches and fear.
Many of us will be sending our kids to school in the coming weeks … I’ve said before that Labor Day is the new New Year, when it makes much more sense to tackle resolutions (getting organized, anyone?) than in the middle of winter. We will maybe shed a tear or two of our own (depending on the kid, the milestone, the mom) and we’ll turn our attention to the nitty gritty of what’s next – setting up that homework stations, stocking the healthy snacks, finally getting rid of all the end of year stuff from *last* school year.
Two more weeks til mine start middle school and 4th grade. I’m ready and not ready all at the same time.

This Week’s Buzz: August 14th – August 20th

The Next Frontier

Because I’ve been at this parenting thing awhile, friends and friends of friends that have become friends, are starting to send their children away to college. I keep seeing it on Facebook … tearful moms, nervous dads, lots of hugs, cute dorm decor. They are sending their kids off to the next frontier, where they will have to solve their own problems and choose their own breakfasts and hopefully mom and dad won’t be tracking their iPhones. UD students move in later in August. Some schools have already started.

Incoming first year students at the University of Virginia move in to their dorms on Friday.

Our hearts are with the Charlottesville community and the people who – in Virginia and everywhere – stand up for what is right even in the face of those holding flaming torches and swastika flags. Our hearts are with the officers charged with keeping the peace. Our prayers are with their mothers. We are sending them the strength to tuck the extra long dorm sheets around the beds so very tightly in order to set their children loosely upon their new frontier, armed with love and history and family and not torches and fear.

Many of us will be
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Buzz This Week
Monday, August 14th

  • 10am Registration Open for Aug. 21st Performance of Makin’ Music at Glen Eagle Square Shopping Center
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Rockford Park
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Tuesday, August 15th

  • $2 Admission every Tuesday in August at the Museum of Natural History
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  • 10am-3pm Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum
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  • 1pm Children’s Storytime at Woodside Creamery
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Wednesday, August 16th

  • 10am Summer Kids Club at Penn Cinema in Wilmington
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  • 11am-6pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 5-8pm Bike and Hike Night at Hagley
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in White Clay Creek State Park
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Thursday, August 17th

  • 10:30am Storytime at the Brandywine Zoo
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  • 6pm & 7pm Family Night on the River Taxi in Wilmington
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  • 6-9pm 3rd Thursday on State Street in Kennett Square
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Friday, August 18th

  • 10:30am Glory of Stories at the Delaware Art Museum
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  • 5-8pm End Summer Bash at the Delaware Children’s Museum
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
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  • 7pm Blue Rocks Game – Fireworks after the game
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Weekend Buzz
Saturday, August 19th

  • 9am-4pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 9am-4pm 2017 Middletown Olde Tyme Peach Festival
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  • 10:30am-2:30pm SUMMER SATURDAYS AT HAGLEY
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  • 1-3pm Family Program: Gathering for August Quarterly at the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage in Wilmington
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  • 4-7pm Escape the Powder Yard, Free event for teens at Hagley
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Sunday, August 20th

  • 12-4pm World Helicopter Day at the American Helicopter Museum
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  • 1:30pm Blue Rocks Game – Sunday Family Funday
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  • 6-9pm Longwood member Night at The Creamery in Kennett Square
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
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Save the Date
  • August 21st – Solar Eclipse Events & Programs at the New Castle County Libraries
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  • August 21st – Solar Eclipse Party at the Delaware Museum of Natural History
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  • August 26th – Yorklyn Pool and Tennis Club 50th Anniversary Party and Auction (PRE-SALE)
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  • August 27th Big Bugs and Butterflies event at the Tyler Arboretum
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  • September 2nd – 110th Arden Fair in North Wilmington
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This Week’s Buzz: August 7th – August 13th

Road Trip Back in Time

As our family road tripped this week, I was reminded of the road trips of my youth – the station wagon, sitting in the “way back” sometimes, waist-only seat belts and paper maps, once a very long ride with no AC. No EZ Pass so we kids would always wake up at the tolls. John Denver and Simon & Garfunkel on the 8 Track.

Today? Two kindles, an iPod touch, two mini iPads, a laptop and two iPhones accompanied us over the river and through the woods. Podcasts for the grownups, head phones for the kids, and a navigation screen on the console and Waze should we want to try a different route. Quite a bit different than it was a generation ago. The kids can hardly believe it when we tell them about it.

I propose a 70s and 80s theme park, where we can…
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Buzz This Week
Monday, August 7th

  • August is Peach Month at Highland Orchards
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Rockford Park
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Tuesday, August 8th

  • $2 Admission every Tuesday in August at the Museum of Natural History
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  • 10am-3pm Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum
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  • 1pm Children’s Storytime at Woodside Creamery
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  • 2-8:30pm Family Movie Triple Feature! at the Kirkwood Library
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Wednesday, August 9th

  • 10am Summer Kids Club at Penn Cinema in Wilmington
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  • 11am-6pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 5-8pm Bike and Hike Night at Hagley
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in White Clay Creek State Park
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Thursday, August 10th

  • 9am-4pm Railroading Summer Day Camp at the Wilmington & Western Railroad
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  • 10:30am Storytime at the Brandywine Zoo
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  • 6-8pm WSTW Family Fun Night at the Brandywine Zoo
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Friday, August 11th

  • 10:30am Glory of Stories at the Delaware Art Museum
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  • 2-4pm Friday Family Films for Fun and Ice Cream Party and Sidewalk Chalk Show at the Brandywine Hundred Library
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  • 5-8pm $5 after 5pm at the Delaware Children’s Museum
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  • 6pm & 7:30pm The Okee Dokee Brothers at Longwood Gardens
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
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Weekend Buzz
Saturday, August 12th

  • 9am-4pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 1-4pm SCIENCE SATURDAY: MATHEMATICS IN NATURE at Hagley
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  • 6:30-10pm Night at the Museum at the Delaware Museum of Natural History
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Sunday, August 13th

  • 12-4pm Touch a Truck event in West Chester
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
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Save the Date
  • August 18th – End Summer Bash at the Delaware Children’s Museum
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  • August 19th – Family Program: Gathering for August Quarterly at the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage in Wilmington
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  • August 20th – World Helicopter Day at the American Helicopter Museum
    read more

  • August 20th – Longwood member Night at The Creamery in Kennett Square
    read more
  • August 21st – Solar Eclipse Events & Programs at the New Castle County Libraries
    read more

  • August 21st – Solar Eclipse Party at the Delaware Museum of Natural History
    read more
  • August 26th – Yorklyn Pool and Tennis Club 50th Anniversary Party and Auction (PRE-SALE)
    read more

Road Trip Back in Time

As our family road tripped this week, I was reminded of the road trips of my youth – the station wagon, sitting in the “way back” sometimes, waist-only seat belts and paper maps, once a very long ride with no AC. No EZ Pass so we kids would always wake up at the tolls. John Denver and Simon & Garfunkel on the 8 Track.

Today? Two kindles, an iPod touch, two mini iPads, a laptop and two iPhones accompanied us over the river and through the woods. Podcasts for the grownups, head phones for the kids, and a navigation screen on the console and Waze should we want to try a different route. Quite a bit different than it was a generation ago. The kids can hardly believe it when we tell them about it.
I propose a 70s and 80s theme park, where we can take the kids for a long weekend – kind of like Colonial Williamsburg or the Historic Houses of Odessa – but less believable. We can stay at a Holiday Inn and watch MTV. If the kids want to watch something other than MTV, they can try that brown box that attaches to the TV with a long cord or just go up to the TV and change the channel by hand. There can be a cool hotel lounge where you can watch Falcon Crest and Hill Street Blues and have a whiskey sour with your cigarette. There will be a mom there, on the phone with the cord stretched alllll the way through the kitchen and out on to the porch, forcing the kids to play Red Rover until it gets pulled out of the wall.
We can tell them that kids used to ride bikes without helmets, and that soccer used to be just on Saturday mornings and you got a trophy only if you actually won. We can tell them that we used to keep score even in little league. We can tell them about dropping off film to get developed and how you used to be able to go right to the gate to meet your grandparents when they flew into town.
We can tell them about life before Google and Amazon Prime.
We will blow.their.minds.

This Week’s Buzz: July 31st – August 6th

The Ultimate Courtship Ritual

Have you seen those nature documentaries that show how a bird fluffs up its coat of many feathers and does some backwards crazy dance on a tree branch to attract a mate? Or the fish that creates beautiful artistic display on the ocean floor, timed perfectly between the tides, also to attract a mate?

I’m betting that if you’re reading this blog, you’ve already attracted a mate and likely have produced offspring, which is why you may need this guide to teach you one of the most fundamental of all courtship rituals: finding a new babysitter. That’s right, our Hannah is off to college and although we have tried many many times to bribe her to stay local or take a few gap years and stay on with us, she is moving on. While we are all hoping she will make special guest appearances during holidays and we may even get her back next summer (just say no to internships, babysitters!), it’s time for us to make eyes at the teenage girls at the pool and hope they will find us as appealing as we find them.

Top criteria: gotta have access to a car. And a 
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Featured Buzz


http://www.thecomicbookshop.com/

Buzz This Week
Monday, July 31st

  • 10:30am Book Babies at the Brandywine Hundred Library
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Rockford Park
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Tuesday, August 1st

  • $2 Admission every Tuesday in August at the Museum of Natural History
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  • 10am-3pm Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum
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  • 1pm Children’s Storytime at Woodside Creamery
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  • 6pm & 7pm Family Night on the River Taxi in Wilmington
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Wednesday, August 2nd

  • 10am Summer Kids Club at Penn Cinema in Wilmington
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  • 11am-6pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 5-8pm Bike and Hike Night at Hagley
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in White Clay Creek State Park
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Thursday, August 3rd

  • 10:30am STEAM Storytime – Robots at the American Helicopter Museum
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  • 10:30am Storytime at the Brandywine Zoo
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  • 6:30pm FAMILY NIGHT: MOONLIGHT, MOON BRIGHT, at the Delaware Art Museum
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  • 6:30-9pm Swingin’ Summer Thursdays in dowtown West Chester
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  • 6:30-8:30pm TLC’s Dog Days of Summer Event at Stateline Woods Preserve
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Friday, August 4th

  • 10:30am Glory of Stories at the Delaware Art Museum
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  • 5-8pm $5 after 5pm at the Delaware Children’s Museum
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
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Weekend Buzz
Saturday, August 5th

  • Peach Party Weekend at Milburn Orchards
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  • 8:45-10am Breakfast with the Beasts at the Brandywine Zoo, Reservations
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  • 9am-4pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 10:30am-2:30pm Summer Saturday at Hagley
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Sunday, August 6th

  • 11am-2pm PNC ARTS ALIVE FIRST SUNDAYS FOR FAMILIES at the Brandywine River Museum
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  • 12:30pm Helicopter Rides at the American Helicopter Museum
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  • 12:30-4:30pm Steamin’ Day at Auburn Heights
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
    read more
Save the Date
  • August 10th – Railroading Summer Day Camp at the Wilmington & Western Railroad
    read more
  • August 10th WSTW Family Fun Night at the Brandywine Zoo
    read more
  • August 11th – The Okee Dokee Brothers at Longwood Gardens
    read more
  • August 12th Night at the Museum at the Delaware Museum of Natural History
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  • August 13th – Touch a Truck event in West Chester
    read more

The Ultimate Courtship Ritual

Have you seen those nature documentaries that show how a bird fluffs up its coat of many feathers and does some backwards crazy dance on a tree branch to attract a mate? Or the fish that creates beautiful artistic display on the ocean floor, timed perfectly between the tides, also to attract a mate?
I’m betting that if you’re reading this blog, you’ve already attracted a mate and likely have produced offspring, which is why you may need this guide to teach you one of the most fundamental of all courtship rituals: finding a new babysitter. That’s right, our Hannah is off to college and although we have tried many many times to bribe her to stay local or take a few gap years and stay on with us, she is moving on. While we are all hoping she will make special guest appearances during holidays and we may even get her back next summer (just say no to internships, babysitters!), it’s time for us to make eyes at the teenage girls at the pool and hope they will find us as appealing as we find them.
Top criteria: gotta have access to a car. And a license to drive it. I love the neighbor girl who will wander over if I I’m in a home-based crisis, but on the regular I need a sitter that can get herself AND MY KIDS from A to B. I’d prefer her to have parents that are better off than we are so she has a newish, highly safety rated, large scale SUV. Now that we are out of the carseat stage – a HUGE milestone that you should immediately put in the baby book: “Ashlyn’s carseat was removed today!” – it’s a lot easier to spontaneously have someone else do the run to soccer or theatre or football (flag, don’t judge me).
Second criteria: gotta be amused by kids. If you don’t get a kick out of these little humans, no regular schedule with a fairly generous hourly wage in the world can make it worth it. If you don’t think they’re cute, don’t bother taking our calls. We need you to swoop in and love them up while we are not at home, and you can’t do that if you find them annoying. Sometimes annoying, yes. Regularly? Nope. Next!
Final criteria, and this one’s big: you have to encourage the kids to do their (minimal) chores and you have to anticipate that when I come home after work or dinner or a board meeting or whatever, that I’m going to want the kitchen cleaned up. Let’s just assume that there may have been dishes in the sink and a full dishwasher when you arrived. If you go ahead and take care of that while I’m gone, I will keep you gainfully employed for the rest of your high school career. Now, keep in mind that my children can basically manage their own basic needs. When our kids were babies, the single requirement we had for sitters was to keep them alive until we got home.
So, teenagers at the pool: if you see me looking at you, watching who your friends are and if you spend all your time on your phone, watching if you are nice to the little kids, watching if you get into a safe car and buckle up before you pull out into the parking lot, please know I’m not creepy. I’m just a regular mom looking for someone to take the reins every once in a while.

Exceptional Care for Children – A place where children know “Its Kind of Fun to do the Impossible”

Navaya is a fun, exciting, unstoppable loving child whose life drastically changed the past 3 years since calling Exceptional Care for Children (ECC) home. Navaya arrived at ECC in 2014 as a very fragile baby with significant technology dependency and respiratory support. As a result, Navaya was not able to leave her bedroom to join her friends in school, therapy, or recreational play because of her medical fragility.

Even with these limitations, the staff at ECC did not allow Navaya’s grim prognosis to define her abilities; instead, they allowed Navaya to determine what her path would be. True to the ECC way, Navaya has revealed her superhero spirit and has learned to overcome her medical obstacles.

She is now making progress beyond her wildest dreams and travels our hallways to go to school, skilled therapy, and recreational play therapy every day! Her progress is due to her fiery perseverance and the unwavering, collaborative work of ECC’s nursing and therapy department.

The nursing and therapy team at ECC is unlike any other. They are literally keeping children alive and giving them a life by creating individual therapeutic and medical goals moving each child to the next level. While doing so, they are strategic and thoughtful in their approach to not just check off a box and move to the next step but creating the best life possible for each child.

Navaya is a great example of their individualized approach. Navaya struggled to learn how to walk on her own. Knowing her struggles, therapy and nursing developed ways to get her moving in a safe way despite the additional equipment attached to Navaya, – which by the way – is not meant for movement. It is meant to be in a sedentary position. This equipment can easily move and shift but let’s remind ourselves – we are caring for children – AND we want to give them a childhood without any limitations.

So, how does this dream team of therapist and nurses make the impossible, possible? It is due to their immeasurable level of mutual respect and trust that allows goals to be met and at times exceeded. This mutual respect is evidenced when therapy checks in with nursing on the health of each child before working with them. Understanding that there will be days when a child may not be feeling well or they may not be strong enough to endure a certain level of therapy at any given time.

This level of mutual respect has created an environment that each CHILD is able to trust and believe in the nursing and therapy team that they will give them the exceptional level of CARE they need to LIVE the exceptional LIFE they deserve.

Fast Times

This summer is literally FLYING by. Swim team season is over. School supplies and fall clothes are in every store. My children have misplaced several beach towels, at least 2/3 of the goggles we started the summer with, and our new favorite at-home activity is finding someone’s missing fidget spinner. What we need up in here is a change of scenery – and so we are headed to the Outer Banks for a vacation unlike one we’ve ever taken before. Four families (that’s 8 adults and 11 kids) in one big house with a pool, pool table, eight bedrooms, four decks, a short walk to the beach, and 42 trips to Costco to get ready. Who’s bringing what and how much it costs has been the driving conversation in a text chain that is spanning what feels like decades. One family is flying in, three families are renting beach stuff, no one has quite enough room in their car, and the big question on everyone’s mind is did we buy enough cereal (maybe) and booze (no). Still – just one more week and I get to dissolve in a week of grapefruit crushes and long lazy beach days with my college friends and their families. Just one night of revisiting old memories and making new ones with these people will make the insane amount of planning worthwhile.
When this blog gets published, it will be 5 weeks until the first school night of the 2017-18 school year. We have a lot of summer left … but we all know it will fly by in a haze of collecting towels and seashells, finding the goggles, and applying sunscreen. We’ll be buying school shoes and getting the back to school haircuts before you know it. Buckle up.

This Week’s Buzz: July 24th- July 30th

Fast Times

This summer is literally FLYING by. Swim team season is over. School supplies and fall clothes are in every store. My children have misplaced several beach towels, at least 2/3 of the goggles we started the summer with, and our new favorite at-home activity is finding someone’s missing fidget spinner. What we need up in here is a change of scenery – and so we are headed to the Outer Banks for a vacation unlike one we’ve ever taken before. Four families (that’s 8 adults and 11 kids) in one big house with a pool, pool table, eight bedrooms, four decks, a short walk to the beach, and 42 trips to Costco to get ready. Who’s bringing what and how much it costs has been the driving conversation in a text chain that is spanning what feels like decades. One family is flying in, three families are renting beach stuff, no one has quite enough room in their car, and the big question on everyone’s mind is did we buy enough cereal (maybe) and booze (no). Still – just one more week and I get to dissolve in a week of grapefruit crushes and long lazy beach days with my college friends and their families. Just one night of revisiting old memories and making new ones with these people will make the insane amount of planning worthwhile.

When this blog gets published,…
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Buzz This Week
Monday, July 24th

  • 6:30pm Blue Rocks Home Baseball Game on the Wilmington Riverfront
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Rockford Park
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Tuesday, July 25th

  • 8am-11pm “Kids Day” at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, DE
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  • 10am & 10:45am Family Story Time at Longwood Gardens
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  • 10am-3pm Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum
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  • 1pm Children’s Storytime at Woodside Creamery
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  • 6:30pm Blue Rocks Home Baseball Game on the Wilmington Riverfront
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Wednesday, July 26th

  • 10am Summer Kids Club at Penn Cinema in Wilmington
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  • 11am Blue Rocks Home Baseball Game on the Wilmington Riverfront
    read more
  • 11am-6pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 5-8pm Bike and Hike Night at Hagley
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in White Clay Creek State Park
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Thursday, July 27th

  • 10:30am STEAM Storytime – Motion at the American Helicopter Museum
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  • 10:30am Storytime at the Brandywine Zoo
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  • 10am & 11am – MUSEUM EXPLORERS FAMILY WORKSHOP at the Brandywine River Musuem
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  • 6pm & 7pm Family Night on the River Taxi in Wilmington
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Friday, July 28th

  • 10:30am Glory of Stories at the Delaware Art Museum
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  • 1pm & 7pm Rapunzel at the Grand Opera House
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  • 5-8pm Dog Days of Summer at the Delaware Children’s Museum
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
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Weekend Buzz
Saturday, July 29th 

  • 9am-4pm Farm Fun Days at Coverdale Farm Preserve
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  • 10am & 1pm Pirate Sail on the Kalmar Nyckel Ship in Wilmington
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  • 10:30am-2:30pm SUMMER SATURDAYS AT HAGLEY 
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  • 5-9pm Dancing in the Park and Food Truck Festival in Glasgow Park
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  • 7:30pm “Sommerkonzert” (Summer Concert) by the Wilmington Children’s Chorus with the Youth Chamber Orchestra of Fulda, Germany at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin
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Sunday, July 30th

  • 10am & 1pm Pirate Sail on the Kalmar Nyckel Ship in Wilmington
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  • 1-3pm Summer Hours for Public Session Skating at the Fred Rust Arena in Newark
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  • 6pm – Family Night at the Delaware Shakespeare Summer Festival: Henry Vat Rockwood Park
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  • 6:30pm Summer Concert Series in the Parks – Tonight is in Bellevue State Park
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Save the Date
  • August – $2 Admission every Tuesday in August at the Museum of Natural History
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  • August 2nd – National Night Out Against Crime in West Chester
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  • August 6th – Steamin’ Day at Auburn Heights
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  • August 6th – Helicopter Rides at the American Helicopter Museum
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  • August 10th – Railroading Summer Day Camp at the Wilmington & Western Railroad
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  • August 11th – The Okee Dokee Brothers at Longwood Gardens
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  • August 13th – Touch a Truck event in West Chester
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By: Heather Spencer and Erik Raser-Schramm

Meet Heather: My name is Heather Spencer, I am 36 years old and currently reside in Palmyra, Pennsylvania with my daughters Aebi (11), Olivia (8) and my husband Ben.  I am a Human Resource Manager for a local airport.  I grew up in Middletown, Pennsylvania with my parents and four older brothers.  I have wanted to be a gestational carrier since the birth of my first daughter.  It was placed on the back burner and finally rekindled in 2013. I was matched with Erik and Jonathan in the summer of 2013.  After two failed transfers and one chemical, we were finally successful on our fourth transfer.  Little Isaac (or baby bean) was born in May, 2015.  We started pursuing a sibling journey when Isaac was about a year old.  We had a failed transfer and another chemical, but finally on our third attempt we were successful.  Little Sprout, as we’ve coined this pregnancy, is due in November, 2017.
Meet Erik: My name is Erik Raser-Schramm, I’m 40 years old and currently reside in Townsend, DE on a small 10 acre organic farm with my husband Jonathan and our two year old son Isaac. I am currently the Chairman of the Delaware Democratic Party and serve on the boards of Kind to Kids, Kids Count and the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children and Jonathan is a neurologist at Christiana Care. When we were married five years ago, we had the dream of becoming a family, a dream that became a reality when we were matched with Heather.  While today we are so excited that our new baby boy will arrive on November 14th, our journey with Heather actually started in the summer of 2013. We look forward to sharing our roller coaster journey with the hope of giving people a glimpse into surrogacy and everything that it entails.
In this picture: Heathers family; Erik, Jonathan and Isaac; the day Isaac was born; the Spencers and the Raser-Schramms together
pic for blog