The battle for Mommyland

June 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve heard for years of the mama-drama some women endure.  I mostly just ignored it.  I figured I’m pretty low drama, so I won’t attract drama, right?  Nope.

When Junior was about a year old, I joined a local moms’ group.  I needed to connect with other moms.  Junior needed to play with other kids.  I met a few really nice women, but didn’t have time to keep up with the group.  A year later, I rejoined and met even more lovely ladies.  Once in a while, I’d hear mention of drama between group members and I’d try to say something along the lines of “So-and-so has always been nice to me and I have no reason to get in the middle.” and just drop it.  A few ladies I thought highly of left the group.  I was sad to see them go, but found a place for myself.

As the group started having less playdates, I looked up another local group and realized that it was made up mostly of people I missed from the first group.  So I did something almost unheard of in Mommyland, I joined a second group.  I had friends on both sides, but no beef with anyone so I figured it was the best of both worlds.  Twice as many playdates to choose from, twice as many girls-nights-out.  Perfect.

I was warned that some members of group #1 may not be happy if they saw I joined group #2.  I mentally prepared myself for that.  Months went by and nothing.  I thought my drama-free stance had worked.  Wrong again.  I just realized this morning that one of the leaders of group #1 blocked me completely on Facebook.  She didn’t just unfriend me, according to Facebook, she doesn’t exist to me.  I know it seems silly to be upset about this, and it’s not the loss of one person that has me perturbed, it’s the whole concept of these Mommy Wars.  As moms we spend so much of our time defending our choices, our parenting, our kids, our friends.  I’ve never had so much a cross words with this woman.  I considered her a friend.  She watched Junior for a few hours for me once.  Now that she knows I’m friends with moms she doesn’t like, I’m not allowed to know she exists.  Now I’m just waiting to be told that I’m not welcome in group #1.  I have a feeling that’s what’s coming next and I’ve met a lot of women I would really miss in that group.  All because I was looking for more playdates.  Shame on me I guess.

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Shoot… now I’m that mom

June 19, 2011 at 2:18 am (Uncategorized)

Hubs and Junior love to wrestle and play fight.  Until recently it’s all been in good fun.  But now, my sweet, mild mannered, loving Junior is the group hitter.  Yesterday at a playdate he ran up and hit a little boy out of nowhere.  I knew exactly where he got it from.  That’s the game he and Hubs play; when one of them isn’t looking, the other play hits him.  Kinda cute when it’s father and son.  Toddler on toddler isn’t so cute.  I made him go apologize and explained that it’s a game that he only plays with Daddy.

Today, we were at a going away party and I hear a kid in the playroom scream.  I knew it wasn’t Junior’s cry, but given what happened yesterday, I went running.  The crier was pointing at Junior and I knew what was up.  When he realized he was busted, he started to cry and wouldn’t answer me.  Turns out, the other boy was playing with a ball.  Junior wanted it, so he hit him.

This isn’t my sweet little boy.  I sort of blew of yesterday’s incident as a game played at the wrong time, but hitting out of aggression is a whole different story.  Not that either situation is ok, but at least what happened yesterday wasn’t meanness intended to hurt someone.  Of course, I made him apologize and removed him from the situation.  After we left, we had a talk.  He even said, “hitting people is not a great choice to make friends.”  I know he gets it, but what’s the deal?  Now he’s that mean kid and I’m that mom.  Crap.  I guess it’s time for some real parenting.

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Love Child cookies

June 16, 2011 at 5:37 am (Food)

A s’more and a macaroon walk into a bar… Have you heard this one already?  No?  Good.  Ok, so a s’more and a macaroon walk into a bar.  Nine months later this amazing bar cookie entered the world.  I may not have a career as a comic, but, I can bake some mean cookies!  Why do I call them Love Child cookies?  Because, if a s’more and a macaroon could have a love child, this would be it.

Love Child bar cookies

  • 2 packages graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 12oz package chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mini-marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×13 pan (if you have a bar cookie pan, use it.  If not, anything about this size works great).

2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.  Press into pan.  Bake 8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients.  When the crust comes out of the oven, spread the coconut mixture over the crust.

4. Bake again for 10-12 minutes or until top is golden brown.

5. Cool and cut into squares.

Enjoy!

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Gone but never forgotten

June 9, 2011 at 6:47 am (Uncategorized)

Today, my aunt has been on my heart and my mind.  It’s been almost exactly 7 years since she passed away.  Her daughter, my cousin, has been one of my closest friends since we were babies.  I remember how much I loved sleeping over at their house.  Of course, playing with my cousin was the main draw, but my aunt always made it so much fun.  I still remember one of my cousin’s birthday parties.  She must have been turning 10 or so.  My aunt must have bought every junk food under the sun, cases of gourmet soda and tons of ice cream.  She knew just how to spoil us.  Of course, my uncle’s amazing breakfasts were always a treat too.

By the time we were both in high school, my cousin and I grew apart a little.  We had our own friends, our own hobbies.  We didn’t see each other much and I didn’t see much of my aunt.  After high school, my cousin and I moved into a house together maybe a mile from her parents’ house.  I got a chance to be reminded how loving my aunt was, how giving she could be.  Once a week, she’d stop by our house and drop something off, most of the time it was food.  We’d sit and chat for hours.

I truly cherish that time my cousin and I lived together.  Not just for reconnecting with my cousin, but my aunt too.  Less than a year after moving in with my cousin, my aunt suffered a heart attack and passed away a week later.  I’m sad that Hubs didn’t get to know her.  I’m sad that my boys never got to meet her.

But there is one little thing they will know.  As a kid, every time I stayed the night, she’d follow the usual “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” with “and if they do, grab a shoe, and beat them ’til they’re black and blue!”  Every night, Junior and I repeat that and I can’t wait to teach him about his great aunt.  She may not be here anymore, but she won’t be forgotten.

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Father’s day gift from the kids

June 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm (Uncategorized)

On a budget?  Don’t know what the kids should give their dad for Father’s Day?  I’ve got an idea for you!  Let the kids paint him a Tie T-shirt.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A solid color t-shirt
  • Freezer paper (you can find this at the grocery store)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Fabric medium (this will be at a craft store near the craft paints)
  • Paint brush(es) – I like the cheap foam ones

1. Pre-wash the shirt with no fabric softener.

2. Tear off 2 squares of freezer paper.  On one of them, draw out the shape of a tie on the non-shiny and remove it from the paper.  You’ll use this as a stencil.

3.  Lay out the shirt, front side up.  Slide the freezer paper between the layers of the shirt, shiny side up.  Place the stencil on top of the shirt, shiny side down.  With an iron set on medium heat, iron down the stencil.  It will take 10-15 seconds in each area to stick well.

4.  Mix the acrylic with the fabric medium per instructions on the medium’s bottle.

5.  Start painting!  Let your little one paint the exposed tie-shaped area within the stencil, making sure to get all around the edges.  If you kid is too young to paint, paint the area yourself, then make a hand or foot print on the tie.

6.  Allow the paint to dry and peel away the freezer paper to see your creation.  In 24 hours, iron the painted area to set it.  Now it can be washed and dries just like normal.

You could even consider making a coordinating set for all the boys in your home.

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Cheap Diaper Challenge!

June 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm (Cloth diapers)

I’ve gotten some good response from my last post about starting cheap with cloth diapers, so I think a challenge is in order.  Details are still coming, but for those of you willing to accept the challenge, I’m looking at a one week challenge of using Greenchild’s fleece scrap covers, t-shirts and *gasp* pins.

Are you in?

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Get started in cloth for ultra cheap!

June 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm (Cloth diapers)

Cloth diapering is usually pretty cost effective in the long run (unless you get sucked by the cuteness and buy WAY more than you need!), but the startup costs can be a tough hurdle.  You can buy a pack of disposable diapers for $10 and diaper your baby for a few days.  $10 doesn’t buy a single diaper in the big name brands, but there’s good news.  There are cheap ways to get started.  Check your local Craigslist.  You can almost always find some on there.

But thanks to my online mommy friends, I now have an even better idea.  Order a dozen Prefold diapers.  I love the Imagine line from Nicki’s Diapers.  While you’re there, get a set if diaper pins.  In the couple of days while you wait for your diapers to arrive, hit the nearest fabric store and buy 1 yard of fleece.  Then follow this tutorial.  It’s stinkin’ brilliant.  She used a sewing machine, but you can absolutely just hand-stitch a couple of pleats.  You can do all this for less than $40.

Month #1 – You’ll have to commit to washing your diapers every day, but you can do it.  It’s just one month.  Every time you would have bought disposables, set aside that money.  At the end of the month, use that money to buy another dozen prefolds and a few covers (I like Proraps for their price and they work great).

Month #2 – Keep setting aside your diaper money.  Now you can start going 2 days between washes.  Again, at the end of the month, use your savings to buy some more diapers.  You’ve probably got enough now to buy a couple of pockets or all-in-one diapers if you want to try those out.  I would suggest buying one each of several different styles as you can.  Then you can figure out your favorites.  This is a great time to look into some pre-loved diapers on Craigslist.

Month #3 – Repeat.  By now, you’ve got a pretty decent stash and can probably stop buying diapers.  But where’s the fun in that?  If you keep this up, for another couple of months, you’ll have a fantastic stash of cloth.

What’s that you say?  Little Tommy outgrew his diapers?  Easy.  List them on Craigslist!  There’s someone else out there looking for a good deal too.  Now, take that money and invest it in some bigger diapers.  Or, hang  onto them and start the cycle over again.  If you have another baby, you’ll be all set from the beginning!

Really in a financial pinch?  Check out your local thrift store.  Ask them what they do with the t-shirts that aren’t in good enough condition to sell.  Often times, these are sold for next to nothing.  Raid your closet, ask your friends for old t-shirts, whatever.  Get a bunch of them.  100% cotton is best, but as long as it’s mostly cotton, it’ll work.  Now check out this tutorial.

Best of luck to you!

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