Visiting the 911 Memorial Museum With Kids

911 freedom towerFreedom Tower stands tall, near where the  Twin Towers once dominated. It’s an impressive sight, even though you can’t get too close to it yet. If you look just right, it appears to extend forever into the sky.

911 memorialMy family and I visited the 911 Memorial Museum earlier this summer. Every trip I make to New York City, I take time to visit where the towers once stood. Over the last 13 years, I’ve been amazed at the changes that continue since that fateful day. Now, two beautiful waterfalls are in the spots where the towers once were. The names of those who lost their lives cover the metal rims of both waterfalls.

911 memorialWe made the decision to go down to the 911 Memorial Museum and took the kids with us. At one point, I didn’t want to go because I thought it would be too intense for two young children. My son, 8, got very upset with us when he thought we had changed our minds about going. So, we talked to the museum officials about it, and were told that there were parts of the museum that were graphic, but these areas are clearly labeled and you’re able to forgo them. So, we made the decision to go and we’re glad we did. It was a teachable moment which prompted great questions from both our children. We were able to use facts, images, and the scene itself to explain what happened on 911, before they were even born.

Note: the 911 Memorial Museum website has this to say in response to the question, “Is the museum appropriate for children? The historical exhibition may not be appropriate for visitors younger than 10. Adults accompanying younger visitors should exercise discretion before entering.”

The museum is easy to walk through with a lot of open space. You can spend as much or as little time as you want in each area. This made it easy for us to pass certain sections that we felt were too intense for our kids.

The museum if separated into three main exhibitions. The first is the Historical Exhibition that takes you through the events of the day, hour by hour. It also includes information about “before 911,” and also includes what happened since 911.

The next section is the Memorial Exhibition. This section’s focus are the people. The lives that were lost on 911. There is an entire section with just photographs of those who perished. From ceiling to floor,  one photo after the other, cover this section. There is also a touch screen monitor where visitors can look up information about each individual.

911 structureThe final section is the Foundation Exhibition. This is where structures and other artifacts are displayed. The photo above is the last structure , the “last column,” standing at ground zero. It’s showcased in the museum alongside the, “‘slurry wall,’ a surviving retaining wall of the original World Trade Center that withstood the devastation of 9/11.”

911 ladder 3 firetruckYou can get up close to Ladder 3’s truck and see the destruction that took place that day. It’s hard to imagine the firefighters that drove this vehicle.

911 ladder 3 firetruckIt’s completely mangled in the back. To me, this is one of the most memorable artifacts of the museum.

There is so much inside the museum to see. We didn’t spend as much time as we would have if had just been adults, but we still spent about 90 minutes there. That might have been because my daughter lost a tooth inside the museum! Quite the distraction for us.

Get more information about the 911 Memorial Museum here.

The 911 Memorial website has information about how to talk to children about 911 which you might find helpful on a day like today.

September 11th is day that we will never forget. I worked in a newsroom 13 years ago and processed photos for 3 days straight. I remember. My children weren’t born. Now, everyone has an opportunity to see, remember, and learn more about the events of the day.

911 ladder 0 firemenAs we left the 911 Museum Memorial we walked past the “Ten  House,” fire station. This bronze plaque greets passersby, reminding us of the bravery of those rescue workers.

For us, the 911 Memorial Museum is an opportunity to pay our respects and always remember.

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Welcome to the New Balancing Motherhood

If you’ve been here before you’ll notice something a little different. If you’re new: welcome!

We have a new logo, completely new look, a beautiful jewel color scheme and new content on its way.

With redesigns there are always kinks to work out, so bear with us as we continue to tweak the pages to make the best experience for you.

As always, I appreciate you for coming. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where I give live updates in addition to what you find here!

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Refreshing and Simple Vodka Cocktails

simple vodka cocktails w/ recipe on BalancingMotherhood.comThere are three drinks in this photo. I will neither confirm nor deny drinking all three of these simple and refreshing vodka cocktails.

Did I say there were delicious? Well, they are.

So easy to make, that even a non-mix-master can make these and still look like a rock star bartender.

Here are the links to the recipes. Each drink only takes 2-3 ingredients.

The Porch Sipper

Crandazzle

Strawbasil Splash

Disclosure: I received product samples for review. I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own, and these taste delicious!

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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The Porch Sipper Strawberry Vodka Cocktail

porch sipper vodka cocktail

Nothing sounds better than sitting in a rocking chair on the porch with the cool breeze passing by. This is how we spend many of our evenings here in the mountains.

Enter “The Porch Sipper” adult beverage. ;) Just a hint of strawberry in this vodka makes this a light and refreshing drink. It’s perfect for that rocking chair.

The Porch Sipper Strawberry Vodka Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. SMIRNOFF SORBET® Light Summer Strawberry Vodka
  • 3 oz. Diet citrus soda
  • Ice
  • Lemon

Instructions

  1. Fill a short glass with ice
  2. Add vodka and citrus soda
  3. Add a squeeze of lemon
  4. Stir
http://www.balancingmotherhood.com/2014/08/28/porch-sipper-strawberry-vodka-cocktail/

Disclosure: I received a product sample for review. I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own, and man, this is a good one.

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Redifining School Lunches

school lunchSchool has only been in session one week and I’m already having a hard time coming up with lunch ideas for the kids. And the first two days were half days with no lunches!

Our school has a new cafeteria and offer hot lunches every day. It’s really exciting, but just isn’t in our budget right now. So, this has made me even more concious of what I’m sending to lunch each day. I don’t want my kids coming home complaigning because they can’t buy a great hot lunch like their friends.

My goals for lunch this year are simple:

  • Affordable
  • Tasty (my goal is an empty lunch box at the end of the day)
  • Healthy (with occasional splurges)
  • Look appetizing and even fun at times!
  • Not too time consuming to make

So, here’s one lunch I made. I also put a protein (turkey hot dogs) in a thermos that I didn’t photograph. I don’t think I did that great on the healthy part, but the tasty part I got spot on with this lunch:

  • half a pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese (pumpkin’s healthy, right?) (got both of these items from Aldi. Delish!)
  • almonds and chocolate covered blueberries
  • fresh strawberries
  • special flavored Pringles chips (OK, definitely not healthy, but I only put about 4 in there)

I’m expecting empty boxes today.

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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