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I’m really looking forward to attending this course with Joanna Fortune. Having worked with Joanna for over a year now her ability to inspire and encourage parents (including me!) in the most positive way is very unique. If anyone would like to join us on Saturday just get in touch!!

1 Day Parenting Course this Saturday 6th July, limited places remain. This Course will be run by Joanna Fortune who is a Clinical Psychotherapist with more than 12 years experience working with children, adolescents and parents. She is a specialist in early attachment and the parent-child relationship and runs the Solamh Parent Child Relationship Clinic in Dublin and is a regular contributor in the media on these issues. You can read more about Joanna on www.joannafortune.com or www.solamh.com

This course is about accessing what is working and building on that and thinking about “why” and what motivates are approach and where that might come from. This 1 Day course will cover the early emotional and psychological development of children and provide participants with the insights to interpret and understand the behaviours of their children as well as the practical skills to respond and resolve these at home.

 This course will cover:

*Child Development (general over view)

*Understanding and Reading Children’s Behaviour

*How to (practically) develop self-esteem and tackle bullying

*Managing Transitions

*Effective Discipline

*Quality versus Quantity Time with children

*The Power of Play

This is about making small changes to see big differences, it is about less tears and more laughs!

The next Parenting 1 day Course is Saturday 6th July 2013 in the Avila Centre Donnybrook, Dublin 4. The cost for the day is €130 per person or €220 for a couple and this is inclusive of lunch/refreshments and detailed handouts. Places are strictly limited and assigned on a first come first served basis so advance booking is recommended. Contact us on 01-6976568 or email info@solamh.com to book your place or make an enquiry.

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Why can’t I ever do things by halves?? I was complaining to Sarah Mac Lachlann from Pilates Performance that I didn’t feel I was getting results quick enough and she informed me I actually needed to make my classes. Hmm I thought, now that makes sense!! I decided to do three classes in a row and the morning after the first class James jumped on me to say good morning. I screamed and frightened the life out of the poor child. Ouch get off Mummy please. My muscles were sore to even touch. “What’s wrong?” James said. “Mummy did Pilates” I said, to which James replied “Oh Mummy a lattes is very bad” At that very moment I really felt my two year old was speaking the truth. However I did go back and I feel great. Sometimes I really find it a huge effort to be good. By that I mean eat well, exercise and go to bed early but when you do it you unleash those hidden happy hormones and they tingle through your body and you feel a rush of happiness and a sense of achievement.

You see we’re all kids really and we need to feed our inner child and make ourselves proud. I hear a lot of Mums beat themselves up about what they’re not doing. This week try this instead… Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about how you parent or live replace it with a positive thought or phrase. This can be incredibly hard to begin with but watch the difference it makes to both you and the kids. Potty training is also around the corner for me and I haven’t a clue so please mail me with any tips and tricks you have?? I need other mummies to help right now!! Everything I read seems to give conflicting advice as usual. I think he’s ready but it’s only my first so what do I know? I’m having dreams (nightmares) of a urine soaked house, car and more washing than one human can cope with. Dramatic? Me?… Never!!

TotsBots are undoubtedly the King of Cool when it comes to designing cloth nappies, so it comes with great excitement that the brand is now launching their new and improved Swimtots –Swimtots are a trendy, practical, comfortable and affordable solution for water babies everywhere! Bring on the summer!

RRP: €11.70 (+p&p) Stockist: www.totsbots.com

 

Puppy Pursuit contains ten active games to encourage the development of memory, patterning, sequencing, colour recognition and matching skills. Canine activities children will be begging to play!  €21.95 www.adamandfriends.ie

 

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

Do you use SPF on your face every day or just when you are abroad or in the sun?

Kelli Dublin

Hi Kelli,

The Number One cause of premature skin ageing is sun exposure. Clinical signs of photoaged skin include the appearance of dark spots, uneven skin tone and overall loss of radiance. 40% of the people never use sun protection because they dislike the heavy feel of certain sun protection on their faces or like me they experience irritation or allergic reactions to certain chemical sun filters. However, SkinCeuticals has a brand new product called Mineral Radiance UV Defense spf 50 which will be on shelves in June and even better its tinted so for busy Mums it has everything in one. I use it first thing to drop James to creche so I don’t scare people with the white just out of bed look and if the sun ever did come out I’d be protected. It’s also lightweight and suitable for sensitive skin.

FOR MUM:
PREVENT. CORRECT. PROTECT With Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF 50 – RRP €43.00 www.skinceuticals.co.uk

FOR BABY:

Kangaroos don’t come cuter than this. Joey is €10.50 and available from www.bubbaroo.co.uk

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

WE’RE GETTING EXCITED ABOUT The Just 4 Kids Show Coming to the RDS 25/26th May. The Show will feature a huge free fun zone led by Let’s Go Camps, a workshop zone, a technology and science zone, a library zone, a seminar zone and a host of exhibition stands to browse through. Be inspired, be informed and be involved with so much to do you’ll want to stay all day!  A fun and educational day out for all the family awaits visit www.just4kids.ie

KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE with an IDME wristband. Great for any outing where your child might get separated from you. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, on holiday, a birthday party, school tour or just a visit to the shops, your child will have potentially life saving information at hand. www.idme.ie €12.99

Well if you had told me 3 years ago I would be unable to sleep because I was so excited about going to a baby fair I would have had you committed…. No, really I would and so would anyone who knows me! However that is simply what happened last week. I just returned from the Nursery Fair in Harrogate near Leeds and it was so exciting. There are so many new products on the market and struggling to fold your buggy will soon be a thing of the past, as you will soon do it with the touch of a button.

Being single, 35 and James past the baby stage no man was safe near me as the broody feelings ran through my body. I asked Zarah did she find every man as attractive as I did? From her look I guessed not. However I then thought it through and realized that making such a rash decision was probably wrong after all I had just had my palm read at the mind, body and spirit festival and was told I had twins in my future. When this memory returned I took a vow of celibacy and that’s where we are today. I have left a small window open for prince charming I just hope I’m not to busy to notice if he ever decides to pass by.

On a more serious note the fair was a wake up call to really do your research continually. The parenting industry moves at an incredibly fast rate but I’ll do my best to keep you informed. At the moment it’s moving as fast as James mouth, which never stops and some of the sentences are shocking. There are fingers being pointed and I have been informed that I make him angry. This is usually when I interrupt him (if you don’t mind) or say no. I will not let my 2 year old win. If you think this makes me sound immature you would be 100% right but I’m not going down without a fight. I’ll keep you posted or if I lose James will be writing this column next week!!

Found this gem in Harrogate. Simple and genius: a dribble bib and teether in one. Soft, absorbent, reversible and comforting for your teething tot. We have enough bits and pieces to take with us so I simply love products like this, which make our lives easier.  Check out www.cheekychompers.com for more information and watch the video! €11.85

These wonderful storage boxes come all the way from Australia and are
exclusive to Cherish Me in Ireland . They are made from durable canvas
material and they come in a range of different styles and sizes so a
great way store all those toys and keep their rooms organised.

They also stock matching wall stickers to complete the look and it’s a
great way to capture their imagination and bring their room to life.
From €42.00 to €52.00 www.cherishme.ie

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

I read recently that you were doing a detox – perhaps in the last month . Do you mind me asking what type it was and did you find it good? Thanks, Colette

Hi Colette,

I’m not a big fan of just juicing and being hungry so when I detox I cut out all sugar, white products and alcohol and increase fruit, veg and brown/wholemeal products. I also introduce healthier products as part of a healthier lifestyle. I’ve recently discovered Chia. Chia is a complete food, which contains the highest plant source of omega-3 with soluble and insoluble fibre, protein and antioxidants to help get your heart, mind and body in shape. The main health benefits associated with Chia Bia include; reduced blood pressure, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and improved concentration and energy levels. Chia Bia can also help promote weight loss as the seeds can absorb 12 times their weight in water; this results in a gel forming in the stomach that slows the absorption of carbohydrates and leaves you feeling fuller for longer helping you avoid the 3pm slump! You can use it in baking as the seeds are tasteless or I simply add it to my cereal.

FOR MUM:

Chia Bia is available in Dunnes Stores, Supervalu and in all good health stores nationwide. Visit www.chiabia.com for more on information on Chia Bia.

 

FOR BABY:
Yes To Baby Carrots Shampoo+Body Wash Yes To a Soft Clean that’s as delicious as your little munchkin (is that possible?!). Yes to softening organic melon, moisturising vitamin E and nourishing carrot oil. Yes to 100% natural ingredients because Mama Nature knows best. Yes to being tear-free too (of course). Price €9.16

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

 ATTENDING PARENTING CLASSES in the mid-west.  As a mum yourself The first year after your baby was born you have endless questions which is why GP: Dr Maire Finn is offering new parenting classes for first time mum’s and dad’s. The classes will cover a wide variety of topics from breast/bottle feeding problems to dealing with bumps and bruises and everything else in between, as well as talks on mum’s post natal health. Contact Ennis family medical center (065) 6840388 for more information

TAKING a mum break. In order to give, you must make sure that you are replenished you need to step back, recharge, and take breaks. Try this daily care product, Human+Kind All-in-one Body Oil. It is the ultimate multi-purpose beauty oil created to treat arms, thighs, buttocks, tummies and décolletage.  It has an instantly uplifting and energising fragrance that stimulates the senses. €14.95

I’m trying to figure out why my bladder is so near my eyes these days. I often think because I buried my emotions for so long there was a backlog of tears or else I’m simply drinking to much… water that is!!! I had a crap birthday; no ones fault and I was feeling really sorry for myself. I was actually just feeling very sad all week. In the midst of my frustration my friend Orla without even realizing made me smile and cry for all the right reasons. As often happens I had no one to mind James so Orla took him again! Senan, Orlas son is the same age as James and it is often at this point I am dumped as James “bef Friend”. Very fickle and not very loyal you might think or very smart depending, which way you look at it.

I got home from work and was greeted by a birthday cake (meant to be a surprise but James couldn’t wait to tell me) I acted totally shocked and did such a good job I’m rethinking my acting career. We decided to have a sleepover and the next morning Orla and her hubby took James to rugby tots with Senan and let me have a lie in. Then they brought me back coffee and my favourite bagel. To top that on mother’s day a card was posted through my letterbox and it was from James. “Senans Mum did that with me” James said at which point I started crying.

It really is the little things in life that we overlook every day. I’m not sure Orla even realizes just what she did. Even with my Mum and good friends I struggle so much as a single Mum. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed I can barely breathe. However I have been assured that I’m not alone and by this I mean my friends who are married have admitted to feeling exactly the same way. It’s good to know you’re not alone. Taking one day at a time and beginning Deepak/Oprahs 21 day meditation challenge is keeping me focused but I am reminded again how easy we fall but I am also reminded how the kindness of others can turn a persons life around and most of the time they don’t even know it.

 

I just love this 3 in 1 Activity Mat available in various colours. €94.95

This is an activity mat with a difference though as it folds into 3 positions:

1. Activity mat from 0 -6 months

2. Play mat 0-12 months

3. Mini sofa 1-4 years

It’s also machine washable and rolls up for easy storage!!

Available from Piquant Baby & Kids Store, Powerscourt Centre, Dublin 2.www.piquantbaby.ie

 

No more slipping and struggling with tongs. These simple but genius Innosense Unique Silicon Tongs are another little step towards making mums life a bit easier – €3.99 Mothercare

 

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

My little girl has a constant cough and it feels like the winter has gone on forever. With all this debate about antibiotics recently have you come across any natural alternatives?

Thanks,

Pamela Dublin

Hi Pamela,

First of all you always need to check with your doctor and explain your reservations about antibiotics. Midwife Maggie Evans recommends for babies over 12 months that you “Listen” to the cough – a “whoop” (whooping cough), “barking” (croup), or “wheezy” (bronchiolitis)
Croup, a common winter cough, in children is relieved by moist air – try inhaling air in a steamy bathroom, outside or open the freezer door for a few minutes. A cool air vapouriser in the bedroom is also effective.

Allow the body’s immune system to respond to a simple cough – ensure ample rest, dilute fluids, nourishing food and patience. You can also try a cough remedy, especially those containing honey and lemon. Honey is well known not only for its great taste, but also for being a great natural remedy. Honey may indeed help with sore throats and nighttime coughs in children and that’s why I use Nelsons Sootha, a honey rich formula with zesty lemon. Nelsons Sootha cough syrup is free of artificial colourings or flavourings and does not cause drowsiness. Suitable for children aged 12 month onwards. Bryonia, more commonly known as Bryony, is a yellow flowering climbing plant, which has been used in homeopathic tradition for the symptomatic relief of coughs.

 

FOR BABY:

Nelsons Sootha is available from independent health stores and pharmacies nationwide
RRP €7.25

FOR MUM:

If you suffer from allergies like me you’ll need these so you can see your children Optrex SOOTHING Eye Drops – RRP €4.67

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

Visiting animal farms and getting outside, as it’s a great time of the year for your child to learn about new life and growth. You might even catch a lamb being born! Plant seeds in the garden or make a bird feeder. USING Aveeno Dermexa to soothe and hydrate skin. Providing relief from dry, red, and, itchy skin, it is suitable for babies from as little as three months of age. BUYING ‘pre-loved’ designer kids clothes at recession prices — from designers like Chloe, Baby Dior, Catamini, Ralph Lauren, Timberland and more. www.twicesmitten.ie 

I WAS DELIGHTED TO BE ASKED TO APPEAR ON THE COVER OF (read more here) RUDE HEALTH  AND SHARE MY TIPS AND TRICKS OR SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES!!

 

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Trips to the doctor, antibiotics and a lot less money in my pocket now. As a parent in Ireland sometimes you literally can’t breathe without spending money. To top it off my friend in London who’s a working Mum of two proudly declared that her childcare is free and oh yeah so is the doctor. My mind wandered off to sandy beaches and cocktails when I dreamt of what I could do with all the extra money I would have each month if I lived anywhere else at all.

However I did decide to live here so my aim is to do everything to keep myself healthy and happy of course. James now sleeps in my bed all the time and if I were being honest I wouldn’t have it any other way. He wakes in the middle of the night and asks for a tug (hug) or a tuddle (cuddle) and my heart melts. I know this age won’t last forever so I’m trying to enjoy every minute. However life is not all plain sailing as James’ acting has improved dramatically. I asked my sister Laura who’s an actress had she been giving him secret lessons but she said no! He stands there pre fake tantrum trying with all his might to squeeze a tear out and then just as the tear breaks through he drops to the ground for the grand finale. I have learnt/chosen to ignore this at home but in the doctors I was shocked when this was coupled with “dut up!!” Excuse me I said trying to hold in the laughter from pure shock. When I asked him where he heard it he said Spongebob. I explained it was bold and made me feel sad. Now every few minutes James asks me am I sad and declares that he’s happy and wants me to be happy. I have reassured him I’m probably the happiest Mum in the world and have decided heck if I don’t feel it I’ll fake it. Anything for my little man and hey as the saying goes fake it till you feel it!!!

 

As mothers day approaches I love this Bia Beauty Mother & Baby gift set contains eye gel for a sleep-deprived new mum, a luxurious body butter that will diminish stretch marks and is perfect for a relaxing massage, and baby cream which can be used all over the body to soothe and comfort the little one and encourage sleep. €45 from www.biabeauty.com and pharmacies nationwide.

 

Finally a vest that’s actually discreet for breastfeeding! Marianne Valiente, creator of Feed Me Mummy said “after the confidence issues I had with breastfeeding in public, when I came up with this vest I just had to share it with other Mums” I wish it had been 2 years ago!! www.feedmemummy.co.uk

 

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

I was wondering if you ever used a sling with James. There’s so many to choose from and are they really worth it?

Thanks,

Angela, Cork

 

Hi Angela,

I tried so many slings and actually found them great. You need to find one that suits you. Its fantastic to keep them close and you also have your hands free.. Imagine! Check out www.babywearingireland.ie They will lend you slings from all over the world till you figure out which one you like. Cherish me have also just introduced the Award-winning ERGObaby carrier. It’s really comfortable to wear and most importantly holds the baby in the correct position to support baby’s hip, pelvis, and spine growth. ERGOBABY keeps baby safe, close, and comfortable and allows you to enjoy your bonding experience with your baby and you can even be breast feed while babies in the carrier. Unlike many carriers on the market this one can be worn 3 ways on your front, hip or on your back and holds a child up to 20kg!

 

FOR MUM:

ERGOBABY CARRIER €134.90 www.cherishme.ie 

 

FOR MUM:

Get your body set for Summer with Total Body Lift, €46 by Clarins

 

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

SUPPORTING ARC Cancer Support Centre for their inaugural “Green Nose Day” on the 9th of March 2013. Green noses will be sold both inside and outside the Aviva Stadium for 2 EURO before the Ireland v France rugby match. ARC Cancer Support Centre provides support to people affected by cancer and their loved ones and they helped my family enormously when my own Dad was sick. WEARING Alex and Ani eco-friendly, positive energy stacking bracelets made with positive intentions. A perfect gift for new Mums. Choose Mom for generosity, heroism and love.

“I” love Christmas. I love the magic and bribery Santa brings.  As I don’t like doing things by halves, I have a giant Santa on our wall who watches everything especially dinners and bedtime or clean up time or whinging.. Well you get the picture. I took James to see Santa at Hamley’s and it was a very special day. We did lunch with Santa and the kids got to colour, have lunch and spend quality time with the man himself. My cool as a cucumber son just said Hiya as if he was someone he saw every day. He asked him for nion ting DVD (The Lion King), Books and a digsaw (jigsaw) Luckily I was on hand to translate. Also out in Hamleys Claphandies are doing 30 minute sessions. Here the kids can sing carols, create little Christmas trees and have some fun! It’s a great idea if you’re standing in the queue and the little ones are getting impatient. Let one adult go to claphandies and the other stays in line. This year at Hamleys they’ve really thought of everything.

Christmas for me is a time to be grateful for the year we’ve had and look forward to a new year with new beginnings. I have so many plans for the New Year. One of them is getting fit. I’m also going to enroll James back into Rugby Tots as he just loves it and spends all week talking about it and then cries when we leave. It’s great exercise for him. He spends most of the time running in circles announcing to me that he’s the winner! (There is no one else competing against in these particular races but hey who am I to burst his winner bubble)

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me this year. To all of you, who read this column and take the time to get in touch. Your kind words and support mean a lot. Finally thanks to my family without whose support and help with James I would not be able to work and build my life again. I had amazing team on my shows this year so thanks to all of you. Hard work and perseverance pays off. Stay healthy, happy and positive and believe in miracles. Miracles are the ordinary things that extraordinary people do for you every day. 2013 here we come!!!

FOR MUM

I love this Juicy Couture Beau watch €249.00 www.arnotts.ie

FOR BABY
Babies love these soft Alphabet Cubes from Mothercare €16.20

This Trike is amazing for kids with special needs. It can be adjusted to grow with your child by raising the seat post and handlebar to suit. The Musketeer comes with a freewheel as standard allowing your child to be able to coast without the pedals going around if you wish to use a parent handle. It is possible too change to a fixed wheel so that when the Trike goes forward or backward the pedals will go around with the Trike. Can be useful for children with lack of power in their legs as the forward motion helps keep their feet going around. Prices depend on adaptations required but start from €295 Age 2-6 yr Available from Adam and Friends

I love this fluffy blue instaria jumper €34 Cath Kidston have a great range of scarves, hats and jumpers that are warm, fun and very festive but also can be worn well into the new year!

 

ASK ALISON

HI Alison,

I was at one of your shows and you were talking about the importance of communicating. I’m quite bad at talking. Have you any tips for helping me express myself better?
Thanks, Lisa. Galway

Hi Lisa,

I’m always saying that words are not the only way to communicate. You can express yourself in so many different creative ways. Arts and crafts are always good. I recently just did a four part parenting series for my website with Joanna Fortune and she discusses some of the techniques she uses. My favourite is “The balloon Technique” which shows you how to express emotion and this could be a great one for you. You write your feelings/problems down. Then you roll the piece of paper up and put it into the balloon. You then release the balloon and let your problems fly off with it. The video on my website will explain this better. I hope it helps!

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

Doing things to make us feel good READING Caroline Grace Cassidy’s new novel ‘When Love Takes Over’ this Christmas €9.99 This is a feel good, funny, laugh out loud book from all good bookstores LISTENING to Christmas FM we love singing along to all the songs in the car and the best part is the proceeds go to the ISPCC. EXERCISING to balance the guilt of eating and drinking REMEMBERING those loved ones not with us and thinking of all the happy memories we have with them.

“I” love Christmas. I love the magic and bribery Santa brings.  As I don’t like doing things by halves, I have a giant Santa on our wall who watches everything especially dinners and bedtime or clean up time or whinging.. Well you get the picture. I took James to see Santa at Hamley’s and it was a very special day. We did lunch with Santa and the kids got to colour, have lunch and spend quality time with the man himself. My cool as a cucumber son just said Hiya as if he was someone he saw every day. He asked him for nion ting DVD (The Lion King), Books and a digsaw (jigsaw) Luckily I was on hand to translate. Also out in Hamleys Claphandies are doing 30 minute sessions. Here the kids can sing carols, create little Christmas trees and have some fun! It’s a great idea if you’re standing in the queue and the little ones are getting impatient. Let one adult go to claphandies and the other stays in line. This year at Hamleys they’ve really thought of everything.

Christmas for me is a time to be grateful for the year we’ve had and look forward to a new year with new beginnings. I have so many plans for the New Year. One of them is getting fit. I’m also going to enroll James back into Rugby Tots as he just loves it and spends all week talking about it and then cries when we leave. It’s great exercise for him. He spends most of the time running in circles announcing to me that he’s the winner! (There is no one else competing against in these particular races but hey who am I to burst his winner bubble)

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me this year. To all of you, who read this column and take the time to get in touch. Your kind words and support mean a lot. Finally thanks to my family without whose support and help with James I would not be able to work and build my life again. I had amazing team on my shows this year so thanks to all of you. Hard work and perseverance pays off. Stay healthy, happy and positive and believe in miracles. Miracles are the ordinary things that extraordinary people do for you every day. 2013 here we come!!!

FOR MUM

I love this Juicy Couture Beau watch €249.00 www.arnotts.ie

FOR BABY
Babies love these soft Alphabet Cubes from Mothercare €16.20

This Trike is amazing for kids with special needs. It can be adjusted to grow with your child by raising the seat post and handlebar to suit. The Musketeer comes with a freewheel as standard allowing your child to be able to coast without the pedals going around if you wish to use a parent handle. It is possible too change to a fixed wheel so that when the Trike goes forward or backward the pedals will go around with the Trike. Can be useful for children with lack of power in their legs as the forward motion helps keep their feet going around. Prices depend on adaptations required but start from €295 Age 2-6 yr Available from Adam and Friends

I love this fluffy blue instaria jumper €34 Cath Kidston have a great range of scarves, hats and jumpers that are warm, fun and very festive but also can be worn well into the new year!

 

ASK ALISON

HI Alison,

I was at one of your shows and you were talking about the importance of communicating. I’m quite bad at talking. Have you any tips for helping me express myself better?
Thanks, Lisa. Galway

Hi Lisa,

I’m always saying that words are not the only way to communicate. You can express yourself in so many different creative ways. Arts and crafts are always good. I recently just did a four part parenting series for my website with Joanna Fortune and she discusses some of the techniques she uses. My favourite is “The balloon Technique” which shows you how to express emotion and this could be a great one for you. You write your feelings/problems down. Then you roll the piece of paper up and put it into the balloon. You then release the balloon and let your problems fly off with it. The video on my website will explain this better. I hope it helps!

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

Doing things to make us feel good READING Caroline Grace Cassidy’s new novel ‘When Love Takes Over’ this Christmas €9.99 This is a feel good, funny, laugh out loud book from all good bookstores LISTENING to Christmas FM we love singing along to all the songs in the car and the best part is the proceeds go to the ISPCC. EXERCISING to balance the guilt of eating and drinking REMEMBERING those loved ones not with us and thinking of all the happy memories we have with them.