Rafed English

Mom Exchange: How we stay close to faraway relatives

"Every year, we send a personalized calendar with pictures of our daughter for each month so our relatives can see how much she's grown during the past year." --Connie Lee, Tucson, AZ

"Since I'm a military wife and don't live near my hometown, I send little gifts, funny newspaper articles, or one of my daughter's drawings -- my family and friends love hearing from me, and it keeps my spirits up when I start to get lonely." --Brandi Brittain, Fort Meade, MD

"My brother and sister-in-law live in Wisconsin, so we video chat. On Halloween, we got to see them dressed as Fred and Wilma, and they saw their niece and nephews dressed as pumpkins, fairies, and knights." --Jeanne McInnis, Greenport, NY

"When my daughter was born with severe heart defects, I started a blog so I could give updates. Even now, two and a half years later, it continues to be about Clare's progress, but we've also branched out to include how we're doing in general." --Teresa Rouillard, Manchester, NH

"My grandmother adores her dog -- I keep in touch and show her I care by sending coupons for dog food and treats, along with a short note or drawing from my son that lets her know we're thinking about her." --Faith Pederson, Minneapolis

"Because our two boys' great-grandparents don't have e-mail, we send them artwork and cute notes that we make out of our hand- and footprints." --Caroline Smith, Charleston, SC

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