A Letter For You, Dad

Hey Dad, we just got off the phone a little while ago. You called me on your way home from work and we talked for about thirty minutes.

We’re 3,000 miles away, can you believe it? Well, 2,847 miles to be exact. Truthfully I’ve been feeling a little lonely out here without you and Mom. I guess I never really thought I would ever grow up. When I was young I spent so much time wishing to be out of our hometown that the wait felt agonizing. I felt like I was never going to get out.

But here I am. Living my life as a digital nomad, out in a city I’ve never been to before.

I was just thinking about how much you’ve changed since I was a kid. I remember you throwing me water-logged baseballs in the backyard on those fall days in Maryland. I remember you chasing me around the yard in that weird made up game we loved to play that involved the football and doing laps around our house. I forget how the game worked now that I think about it. That’s a little sad.

I truthfully don’t remember a lot of things. I remember how our house looked on the inside, but I couldn’t point out any details to you. My memory is just too faded–like I’m looking through a foggy car window in the morning.

I remember how we used to set up the toy soldiers and have battles with them. I swear that was my favorite thing to do for years, even with Pokemon being all the rage.

Those memories are faded. It hurts because I know the memories I’m making with you now will be faded one day too. I’ll reach back for them but I won’t be able to pull them out as clear as they are in this moment on the phone.

As I get older I realize that time really isn’t going to slow down. You told me that you can’t work out as hard as you used to at the gym because of your joints. On the inside I really don’t want to hear that because it makes me realize that one day there is going to be a day where I wake up and you’re not there with me.

I wanted to get away so quickly that I forgot the price I’d have to pay. That price is time–time spent without you and Mom. Won’t I already spend a large majority of my life without you? Why did I want to spend even more time without you? I don’t know, and I’m sorry for that.

I wonder how you’ll be with my kids. I wonder if you’ll play the same games and teach them the same lessons. I wonder if I’ll look at them in envy, wishing for that moment as a child again with my father.

I guess the simple way to say it is that I miss you.

It’s no secret that I have more sensitivity to things than others. All you have to do is read the last few paragraphs to figure that out. But I got that from you, and it’s the best gift I ever could’ve received. It’s my weakness, sure, but it’s also my greatest strength of all.

You know what made me write this? I was changing in my car and I remembered how you used to take me to baseball games on Sunday from church and I would have to change into my uniform in the backseat. In case you didn’t know, there was a lot of crap I had to put on.

It was the cup, and the long socks, and the pants, and the button down jersey, and then the cleats that were always either one size too small or one size too large because Mom got them from Play It Again Sports.

I miss those days more than you can imagine. I wish as a kid I could understand just how much I would miss it. I do now.

One day you won’t be here with me, that’s no secret, but you’ll be here in my faded memories constantly guiding me and making me smile. You were always the best at that, and you still are.

What makes a good father? What makes a good parent? I honestly don’t know, but my guess is that if it makes you smile to reminisce about them, then they’ve probably done their job right.

You and Mom certainly fulfill that criteria. You fulfill that criteria and more. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

Fox News Didn't Air That Amazing Speech By The Father Of A Fallen Muslim Soldier

It’s being called the “most powerful speech”of the Democratic National Convention, something that is “going to be remembered for decades.” Even prominent Republicans were moved, with one calling it a “dignified, damning indictment” of the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump. 
But had you turned on Fox News at 9 p.m. on Thursday ― during primetime coverage of the final night of the convention ― you wouldn’t have seen Khizr Khan, the Pakistani-born father of a Muslim American war hero killed in Iraq, deliver a blistering condemnation of Trump’s anti-Muslim presidential campaign. 

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible);

You wouldn’t have seen Khan standing next to his wife, who was wearing a hijab, describe how honored they felt to be able to speak at the convention “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” And you wouldn’t have seen Khan directly address Trump, who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. 
“Let me ask you, have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy,” Khan said, pulling a copy of the document from his jacket pocket to thunderous applause and cheers. 
“Look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’ Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending this country,” Khan said. “You have sacrificed nothing, and no one.”

Unlike competitors CNN and MSNBC, Fox News only showed Khan’s speech for two minutes ― without audio, in a small window at the bottom of the screen ― while the network aired commercials, including a Benghazi-themed attack ad against Hillary Clinton. During the rest of the address, the channel opted to show host Megyn Kelly interview commentator Brit Hume. 
At the end of Kelly’s show, she interrupted her guests to cut to a shot of pop star Katy Perry performing at the convention. 

Fox News is typically eager to feature displays of American patriotism and sacrifice, and to praise and honor people in the U.S armed forces. But the network also has a well-documented history of Islamophobia, often featuring guests who are members of anti-Muslim hate groups.
Khan’s speech, covered widely elsewhere, appears to have been mentioned just twice across Fox News’ expansive digital properties. There was a Fox Business Channel video featuring two Muslim Trump supporters reacting to Khan’s speech, and clips of Khan’s speech were posted to the network’s Facebook page. 

“We reported on the speeches and cited them throughout the evening and into today, as well,” Jay Wallace, the executive vice president of news editorial, said Friday in a statement. 

Can't be said enough: last night the father of a fallen soldier gave a speech abt patriotism and sacrifice, and @FoxNews wouldn't show it— Max J. Rosenthal (@maxjrosenthal) July 29, 2016

U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan was killed in action in Iraq in 2004. When a vehicle packed with explosives drove toward his compound, the 27-year-old, who was born in the United Arab Emirates, ordered his unit to seek cover as he ran toward the vehicle, saving their lives. The vehicle exploded, killing the soldier.  
He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. His tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery is among many bearing the star and crescent symbol of the Islamic faith.

In addition to wanting a ban on all Muslims coming to the U.S., Trump has called for a national database of Muslims. He has also said that Muslims should be racially profiled, that mosques should be surveilled, and that “Islam hates us.” 
“Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America,” Khan said during his speech. “If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

12 Baby Names Inspired By Irish Surnames

Irish family names have influenced new parents for a long time. From Ryan to Riley to Rowan and Connor to Quinn, the U.S. popularity lists are filled with cheery Irish surnames that American parents have chosen as first names for their babies.
Here are 12 such names that embody that infectious Irish charm ― some of them new to the scene, others on their way up, and a few from the past that deserve a fresh look.
Brennan
A softer, cooler update of Brendan, Brennan entered the popularity list in 1966 and has now reached number 446. Will Ferrell played a character named Brennan Huff in the film “Step Brothers.” It’s a common surname in Ireland, where the O’Brennans were influential in a large territory. Stateside, William Brennan was a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Callahan
More upbeat than Calvin, Callahan has a long history. More recent is as the last name of Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” character. Though it’s never ranked on the Social Security list, Callahan is Number 599 on Nameberry.
Crosby
Though Crosby is known as a last name thanks to musicians Bing and David, Dax Shepard’s “Parenthood” character Crosby Braverman inspired parents to consider it for a first name. Crosby entered the list in 2011 and is now number 576 nationally, 496 on Nameberry. Kenny Loggins also has an adult son named Crosby.
Cullen
We can thank the Twilight franchise for the rise of this cool Irish surname. Though it’s not quite as popular as it was during the Twilight era, it is still strong at number 571 and 389 on Nameberry. Curran is another, similar possibility.

Dennison
Dennison would make a stylish namesake for a Grandpa Dennis, just as Donnelly or Donegan would for an Uncle Donald, or Halloran for an ancestral Harold. The first Dennison to cross the pond landed in the Colonies in 1623, so its transatlantic roots are deep.
Farrell
An attractive Anglicization of the Irish Fearghal, Farrell, meaning “courageous,” feels far fresher than the dated Darrell/Daryl. A surname for several notables, including the dashing Colin, Farrell appeared off and on at the lower levels of the top 1000 baby names list from 1924 to 1967, most popular in 1935. Parents may also consider the longer form Farrelly.
Finnegan
Finn is one of the hottest names of the day at number 209, but for those who prefer it as a nickname, there’s a choice of Finlay, Finley, Fingal, or the adorable Finnegan, which itself is number 405. Associated with the James Joyce masterpiece Finnegan’s Wake, Eric McCormack spelled his son’s name Finnigan and VP Biden has a granddaughter Finnegan. Similar in feel: Flanagan, Corrigan and Hartigan.

Hayes
Another stylish category of Irish surnames ― sophisticated, single-syllable and ending in ‘s.’ Ranked at number 539, its highest ever, the presidential name Hayes was chosen by Kevin Costner for one of his sons in 2009, the year it entered the charts, and Hayes Flynn was a character on “Bones.”
Phelan
Pronounced FAY-lan or FEE-lan, and meaning ‘wolf’, this would make a handsome choice for parents seeking a Celtic name with a subtle animal allusion. Rhyming cousin Whalen has the same meaning.
Lennon
Derived from an Irish name meaning “lover” in Gaelic, this rock-related surname has been soaring for both boys and girls ― it’s now slightly higher on the girls’ list, thanks to female singer Lennon Stella. Lennon entered the boys’ list in 2008, 28 years after the Beatle’s tragic death. And two decades after Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit used it for their son.

Rafferty
Jude Law and Sadie Frost chose this name early on for their son Rafferty Law, now a 19-year-old model. Nicknames like Raff and Rafe make it even more appealing.
Sullivan
You can’t get more Irish than this, as it’s the third most common surname in Ireland, tops in Kerry and Cork counties. As a baby name, it’s currently ranked in the U.S. at number 459. Patrick Dempsey used it for a son, as did singer Tom Waits and actor James Masters. Sprightly nickname Sully appears in Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” and recalls another laid-back surname: Tully. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

Husband's Anniversary Gift For Wife With MS Is The Definition Of Love

Carl Gilbertson wanted to make his 10th wedding anniversary special for his wife Laura, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
On Saturday, he surprised her with a flash mob performance of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” with some help from students of Liverpool Media Academy in Liverpool, England. 

At the end of the heartfelt performance, the students held up a banner that read, “Happy Anniversary, Laura” with a photo of her from their wedding day. 

Gilberston also penned a heartfelt tribute to his beloved wife on Facebook: 

“At our wedding breakfast I said that ‘it is the greatest honor anybody could ever bestow upon me for you to take me as your husband and the most enduring privilege to be able to call you my wife.’ It was never just a line for a speech, it was how I felt and you spend every day re-enforcing it. Your strength, courage and dignity take my breath away and though most Saturdays at kick-off time you may not think it, you’re the only thing that really matters. My babe, you’re amazing – just the way you are.”

Multiple sclerosis is a disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts signals to and from the brain, which can lead to pain, numbness, mood changes, memory problems or paralysis, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Watch the emotional video above.  
The Huffington Post reached out to the husband for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication. This story may be updated. 
H/T Love What Matters — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

The Everyman's Guide To Washing A Woman's Clothes

A 2014 survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us women spend twice as much time as men caring for and helping household members every day. Fellas. You need to pitch in around the house.
And since the average person is likely to spend 23,214 hours over the course of their lifetime doing laundry, this is an area you should definitely master.
Men: Let’s say your girlfriend leaves a bra over at your place. Would you know how to wash it? How about her swimsuit? You shouldn’t just throw these in with your jeans and send them through the dryer. There are special things you need to know when it comes to washing a woman’s clothes.
Here is your guide:
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

Leading Women Are Becoming Less Sexualized In Video Games, Study Finds

Playable female video game characters have become less sexualized in recent years, according to a new study that complicates narratives about how women are represented in the medium.
The paper, “Sexy, Strong, and Secondary: A Content Analysis of Female Characters in Video Games across 31 Years,” examines how women have appeared in 571 video games from the early 1980s through 2014. It found that sexualization peaked in the 1990s, when three-dimensional graphics became the norm, and has trended downward in recent years. 

“We attribute this decline to an increasing female interest in gaming coupled with the heightened criticism levied at the industry’s male hegemony,” the study’s authors write. 
The findings are anything but straightforward, though. It’s true that playable, “primary” female characters have become less sexualized over time. But non-playable, “secondary” female characters still tend to be objectified. And the study found that more often than not, when women do appear in games, they’re secondary characters, not primary ones.

The study also found that women are as sexualized in games rated “Teen,” for ages 13 and up, as they are in “Mature” games for people over 16 years old.
“Our findings indicate that children who play video games likely encounter sexualized imagery prior to adulthood,” the authors write. “This may indicate that video games have normalized sexualization of female characters across audiences of varying ages.”
So, all in all, the data doesn’t lend itself to easy conclusions. Sexualization may be decreasing overall, but women still aren’t represented equally in video games, and they’re commonly objectified in games targeted at younger audiences.
In-Depth Research
The analysis is remarkable in that it observes video games across genres and budgets over a substantial period of time. While you might visualize modern AAA titles like “Assassin’s Creed” or “Mass Effect” when you think of video games, the medium is much more diverse, with an extensive history acknowledged by this study.
Teresa Lynch, a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University who led the research, said the findings disrupt conventional thinking about female video game characters.
“Part of the reason that we believe previous analyses have painted such a dismal picture of female representation in games is because they’ve sampled only top-selling games,” Lynch wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.
“When people think of what female characters look like in games, they’re often thinking of those found in AAA titles and on top 10 lists because these are prominent figures in games, they’re recognizable, sometimes staples of a series,” she added. “These characters disproportionately skew perceptions of the industry’s styling of female characters because they’re visible​ and, often, popular.” 

Researchers established precise criteria to measure sexualization in video games, assigning variables for accentuation of a character’s buttocks, bare midriffs and so on. They collected data by watching five-minute gameplay clips on YouTube, avoiding marketing materials and non-playable cinematic sequences.
That’s not to suggest promotional images don’t play a role in how people perceive video games ― but such images were beyond the scope of this study.
“Advertisements, for instance, seem to exaggerate characters’ physical features in ways that aren’t always consistent with how they appear in the gameplay,” Lynch said Wednesday in a press release about the research.
Take “Tomb Raider,” for example. A 1997 “pinup” feature in the magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly depicted the original game’s hero, Lara Croft, in a swimsuit that exposed a lot of her body. While the character was sexualized in the game, as the study indicates, her actual, polygonal representation bore little resemblance to these promotional renders:

http://readingegm.tumblr.com/post/93246367226/egm-97-this-is-like-a-greatest-hits-of-things

One limiting factor to the study’s approach is that the data was gathered from observing video clips. Video games are interactive, and this approach can’t account for how players might interact with a character over time.
“This is certainly not a one-stop, be-all-end-all study,” Lynch told HuffPost. “We have limitations, and our goal was never to say that sexy characters are all bad or that there is no circumstance in which sexualization is appropriate. Given the richness of game environments alongside the potentially powerful roles these female characters fill, there are tons of ways in which the context can influence perceptions of these characters.” — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

I've Never Been More Thankful for My Hands-Off Parents

How did being raised by clueless parents affect your development? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Stan Hanks, CTO of Columbia Ventures Corp, on Quora.

OK, this is a time-shifted answer, but it’s still completely true.
In the 1970’s, in high school, I had zero help from my parents with anything school related. It was well known that unless I went to the local (well, 55 miles away) community college and lived at home, I was on my own. So I learned to be resourceful, resilient, and creative. It was a huge blessing. I needed to take the SAT? Cool, that meant I had to figure out when and where it was offered, how to register, how to get myself there (that turned out to be “after traveling all night 350 miles home from the most brutal football game I’d ever played in which I suffered a concussion, drive home, shower, then drive to a campus 55 miles away, stopping for breakfast on the way, not forgetting to bring extra pencils”). Prep for the SAT? We laughed at the one kid in our school who did a Kaplan course. You either knew this stuff, or you didn’t (I’m a 99th percentile scorer, I guess I can take that approach).
Same with applying for financial aid. Being a National Merit Scholar was a plus, but I had to figure everything else out on my own. To do that, I had to make phone calls, talk to adults, read stuff, actually write letters and wait for responses, fill out applications, make presentations. Most of which I had to figure out from scratch.
Nutrition? You ate was was served. If you wanted to eat something else, you had to either figure out how to pay for it “out”, or cook it “in”, with the caveat that you might have to pay for the thing you were going to cook if it wasn’t just laying around.
New bike? They’d probably buy that. Parts to repair after a crash, that’s on me. The first car was on them, but when I did something they disagreed with and “lost” it, the replacement was on me, as was gas, and insurance.
I was so unbelievably freaking lucky. I still lived at home, didn’t have to worry about rent, didn’t have to worry about clothes (mostly), didn’t have to worry about food (other than as noted), and I still got to learn all of these amazingly useful – no, critical – life skills within a safe learning environment. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I look at my wife’s older kids, and their dad arranging all this stuff for them – the AP test prep, the SAT test prep, actually arranging the testing for them, actually filling out their college applications and financial aid forms. It’s mind-blowing. They don’t value any of it, they didn’t learn anything from it. It was just there, given to them. As if it were their right.
I don’t get it. It’s inconceivable to me as a parent that I’d deprive my son of the chance to learn the stuff that he’s going to need to know as a functional adult. He’s young enough that I’m showing him how to learn – how to figure things out that you don’t know, where the resources are “hiding” in this digital age. But more and more, I give him responsibility. You want to do it, you need to figure it out. If that means scanning YouTube for a tutorial, then doing it, awesome. If it means reading then doing it, more awesome. But there’s no way in hell I’m sending him into the world with an expectation that “stuff just gets done for you”. Because that’s not the way that it works.

This question originally appeared on Quora. – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:​

Parenting: What are some good use cases for the Amazon Echo with small children?
Growing Up: What are the most creative and unexpected answers that kids give when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up”?
Children: How good a game is Pokémon GO for kids?
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

Cop Has Tea Party With Little Girl To Honor The Day He Saved Her

Tea for two, one of whom was in blue.
On July 17, Corporal Patrick Ray and 2-year-old Bexley Norvell had a tea party in a park in Rowlett, Texas, to celebrate the anniversary of the day Ray saved Bexley’s life.

Chelle Cates, a professional photographer, was hired to capture the adorable outdoor affair, which included a brand new experience for Bexley.
“This was her first [time eating Oreos] ever and she definitely enjoyed every crumb of it,” Bexley’s mother, Tammy Norvell, told The Huffington Post.

On July 26, 2015, a then 22-month-old Bexley was found unable to breathe after she swallowed a coin. Minutes before Ray was dispatched to the scene, she was unresponsive. The quick-thinking officer cleared her throat and got her to breathe again, CBS DFW reported.
The amazing rescue was captured on film due to the body-camera Ray was wearing.

“[That] day is right up there with my children’s births,” Norvell told The Huffington Post. “It has made me want to change people’s images and thoughts about these men and women that serve us everyday.”

Norvell also told HuffPost that a year after the incident, Ray accepted her invitation to do a tea party photo shoot “with no hesitation whatsoever.” She also mentioned that when Bexley, who was being boosted up by a blanket so she could reach the table, offered the officer a blanket as well, he politely refused.
An officer and a gentlemen, indeed. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

Entry 25 THE FLIGHT HOME

Continued from >>> Entry 24

THE FLIGHT HOME
The flight from Phuket to Seoul was uneventful. Christian fell back to sleep for a little bit and when I turned to check on him he had slid half off the seat and was sleeping in an almost vertical position, his little face in the seat and the rest of him on the leg rest. He did not look like he would have wanted me to wake him again, so I let this sleepy baby lie while I kept both eyes on him, should he slide further onto the floor. It reminded me of the time Norman got Josh up to keep him company in the kitchen while I got some much needed sleep time.
When I awoke and went into the kitchen I saw the bouncy chair on the table minus Josh. “Where’s the baby?” I asked Norman. Josh had slid off the chair and was sleeping soundly on the cushioned bench of the breakfast nook.
We had 6 hours of flight time before we landed in Seoul and then another 6 ½ hours in the airport before we boarded the next plane to San Francisco, a 13 hour flight. With a 15 month old baby.

It was freezing in Seoul. We had summer jammies for Christian and a Baby Gap sweatshirt. I bundled him up as best I could, but it was still cold in the Star Alliance lounge in Inchen Airport. What were we going to do for 6 ½ hours and what are we going to feed the baby? I had his goats milk but little else. First I needed a blanket to wrap him in. I went to the entry desk of the lounge and asked the attendants if they had an airline blanket I could use for Christian. They brought me a cozy comfy Air China blanket. I wrapped him in it. I found some rice with sesame sauce and Christian ate a little of it. And a bit of banana, but mostly he was happy with his goats milk bottle. I slept not at all on the 6 hour flight from Phuket to Seoul, so Rick took Christian in the stroller for a walk. I tried to rest but was over tired. I picked at some food and walked around the lounge. It was there that I found the most luxurious bathroom! With a shower! And all the amenities. A marble shower the size of a private bathroom in a lovely 5 star hotel. Who knew?

When Rick got back with Christian, he was excited to tell me there was a children’s play area in the airport with climbing things and a playhouse. If we had to spend 6 1/2 hours on layover, Inchen Airport in Seoul, Korea was the place to be.
I took Christian into the shower and he loved it. I wrapped him up in clean clothes and covered him in baby lotion. Then I showered.
While showering Christian found my bracelet and decided to throw it in the toilet along with the bottle of lotion. I fished it out. Rinsed it off and out we strolled. Clean and fresh smelling and ready for the next adventure.
Our flight from Seoul to San Francisco was everything we hoped it would be. Air China was fabulous. The flight attendants were in love with Christian, who was busy not sleeping and playing hide and seek with the woman in the pod next to us. I was mildly annoyed because I was trying to get him down so I could get some much needed rest. I had no idea what time it was, but I figured it was either time for Christian to take a nap, or to go to sleep for the night. I know that I had not shut my eyes in at least 24 hours.
The business first section was less than half full, so Rick and I were able to change seats. Christian would have his own pod next to me and Rick would be in the pod in front of me. I told Rick to get some rest and I would stay with Christian until I could get him down. Rick was out like a light. And I was up for the next 5 hours entertaining Christian, silently begging him to fall asleep. At hour 6, I could take no more, so I woke up Rick and said, “You’ve had 6 hours sleep and I haven’t slept in over 24, your turn.” He dutifully switched places with me, and I was able to shut my eyes for the next 7 hours!!!
I awoke to the flight attendant telling me we were getting ready to land in San Francisco. I turned to look at Rick who was eating breakfast, and reading his book. Christian was sleeping soundly next to him. “Are you exhausted?” I asked. “Nooo, Christian fell right to sleep as soon as we switched seats.” Of course he did!

To be continued…. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families

Eric Carle, Your Favorite Children's Book Illustrator, Is 87 And Still Making Art

Hit Backspace for a regular dose of pop culture nostalgia.
Consider these nostalgia-inducing book titles of your youth: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar. The Grouchy Ladybug. Are you seeing blue horses, butterflies and aphids yet? If so, you have Eric Carle ― the master illustrator behind the 1960s and ‘70s’ best children’s books ― to thank.
Carle is the collage artist who made layered illustrations of famished bugs and observant mammals to accompany the most unforgettable stories of your childhood. Brown Bear debuted in 1967, Caterpillar in ‘69, and Ladybug in ‘77, rounding out just the beginning of one of the most well-known picture book producers’ careers. Even if you were a ‘90s kid, these books likely made their way into your library checkout history.

Today, Carle is 87 years old and still producing art. (Just last year, he published The Nonsense Show, a tribute to surrealism toddlers everywhere can enjoy.) But it’s not so much his age as the span of his career that’s amazing ― the author and illustrator has been working for nearly 50 years, releasing a total of over 70 books, most of which he wrote and illustrated. That amounts to nearly one and a half books every year.
In honor of his professional longevity, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, is celebrating the wonder that is Eric Carle this summer with a giant retrospective consisting of more than 80 collages from his half-a-century career. We have a preview of the instantly recognizable artworks on view below, the ones that will take you back in time, to an era filled only with trains, pancakes and rubber ducks. 
Bonus: a few facts you’ve always wanted to know about the man who memorialized the lifecycle of a lepidopteran.

Born in America, Eric Carle actually grew up in Nazi Germany.
Carle was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, but moved to Germany with his parents when he was 6 years old. During World War II, his father was drafted into the German army ― he spent eight years as a prisoner of the Russians ― only to return home when his son was 18 years old. Carle ended up graduating from the celebrated Akademie der bildenden Künste, an art school, before moving back to the U.S.

He began his career as a graphic designer for The New York Times.
Carle started his life in New York City in 1952, with, as his online biography states, “a fine portfolio in hand and 40 dollars in his pocket.” His first job? A graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times.

His literary career began in 1967 when educator Bill Martin Jr. asked Carle to illustrate Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Martin came across Carle’s advertisement work; specifically, an image he made of a red lobster while working as an art director for an ad agency that specialized in pharmaceutical products. So, they embarked on a collaboration that would result in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? A year later, Carle wrote and illustrated his first original book, 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo.

The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar was voted the No. 2 children’s picture book behind Where the Wild Things Are.
In 1969, Carle released The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar, which, according to the School Library Journal, is the second best picture book for 21st-century readers. Note: The entry for Hungry Caterpillar lets fans in on a secret ― the book was originally titled A Week with Willie Worm.

He creates his images by painting on white tissue paper.
He then cuts and tears the abstract, acrylic-covered papers into different concrete shapes. High Museum visitors will be able to see examples of this unique technique up close, including the original collages of Brown Bear, Yellow Duck and Green Frog (from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?).
Carle explained his technique to The Horn Book:

I make my pictures out of hand-painted tissue papers that I paint with acrylics. Then I cut and tear these painted papers and glue them onto illustration board. My painted papers are like my palette. There are many different mediums to work in; I just happen to like collage. I enjoy the process of gluing the pieces down in a picture. I am very interested in details, brushstrokes in a painting, and textures. So the process of painting my tissue papers is very satisfying to me. Many children have also done collages at home or in their classrooms. In fact, some children have said to me, “Oh, I can do that.” I consider that the highest compliment.

He believes “the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood.”
Carle, who two children of his own, has said: 
“I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.”

He founded an entire museum dedicated to children’s book art.
It’s called The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and it’s currently celebrating the 75th anniversary of Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (1941).

He receives over 10,000 fan letters every year.
Carle’s stories have been translated into 62 different languages. He’s sold more than 132 million copies of his books worldwide. And, according to The Guardian, he receives more than 10,000 fan letters every year. The Nonsense Show was rumored to be his last book, but in an interview with The Chicago Tribune, he teased a potential Quentin Blake-inspired project. 
So, yes, your favorite children’s book illustrator is still making art.

”I See a Story: The Art of Eric Carle” will be on view at the High Museum of Art through January 8, 2017. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost families