Thursday, July 28, 2005

Welcome Bookclub

The word is out. More people know about my blog, so my editor is going to have to get up and running out there in Maine. Well really, it's my bookclub that knows about the blog as of this evening. So likely my readership has just doubled overnight. That is assuming I get an additional two people reading my blog.

Here is a great tool to hold your coffee and tea. Be the first in the world to own your very own stunt mom mug.

By the way, the next bookclub is going to be Thursday August 11th at my house. It's a Harry Potter discussion, along side a shower for our newest mom to be- SUSAN! Pick any HP book you want, and maybe we will discuss- it is my house after all.
The mug!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm Not a Slacker

Here is a funny website for all of you Stay at Home Dads! You just have to love the title.
I'm not a Slacker! - The rambles and rants of a stay-at-home dad

But please, I am no way endorsing his suggestions of feeling your kids hotdogs and other processed food. His food choices alone imply that he could be a potential slacker. Does he really use bottled/canned fruit in the summer? Maybe I'm the one in the wrong and needs to relax? Maybe my dreams will be shattered as I stay home longer, and reality will set in that I too will jump on the hotdogs and chicken nugget train.

Possibly worth reading: the side section of the blog mentioning the "dumbass parent of the day".

Monday, July 25, 2005

Stay At Home Dads

While we were away on vacation I had a nice long chat with my brother-in-law, about staying at home. He has been home with the kids for a few years, on and off (he and my sister swap every couple of years). I was surprised to hear that the hardest thing for him is that there is a real stigma attached to a man staying at home. Apparently it can be perceived that they are free loading off the working woman- as his own brother stated to him once. He also mentioned how hard it is to meet other Stay at home Dads, or Moms who feel comfortable hanging out together.

Talking a little more, I realized that I too have stayed away from the stay at home dad (SAHD). While going to places where I have met other mom's, like at the library for story hour, I have never introduced myself to the Dads. I even have a friend who's entertaining and interesting husband stays home, and I have never gone out of my way to make a play date with them.

So if anyone has answers or thoughts to this puzzle, please let me know! In the meantime, I am challenging myself to getting to know at least one stay at home dad in the area.

To read more about starting your own SAHD network, click here

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Babysitting Cooperative

Since returning from vacation, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed being around my kids. I just spent every hour day and night with them, without a thought of a break. Being gone has really helped me appreciate how much my husband helps out with the kids on a daily basis. Even if it's just for a trip to the post office ALONE, having a few moments really helps my mental state.

So now I'm motivated to start a babysitting cooperative. I have a friend that hesitates to ask us to watch her kids in fear of taking advantage. That why, if we form a formal co-op. We should be able to exchange kids guilt free.

A baby sitting co-op consists of a number of families in a community who
decide to share babysitting among themselves without the exchange of money.
Members agree to share responsibilities for keeping records and for providing
and using services. Babysitting co-ops usually are intended for occasional not
regular childcare.

What Are the Advantages of a Babysitting Co-op?
A babysitting co-op allows neighbors to get to know one another. Children become comfortable among adults and other neighborhood children, and parents come together. By organizing as a co-op, parents expand the options available to them for babysitting, and they can turn neighbors into friends. Here are just a few more advantages of using a babysitting co-op in your neighborhood:

  • Children can make new friends and develop social skills.
  • Children can become close with many families in the neighborhood.
  • No money is spent on babysitting.
  • Occasional day, evening, or emergency overnight care helps families.
  • Parents get some free time.
  • Parents get the opportunity to see their children interact with others.
  • Neighbors get to know one another and create a stronger community.

Click here to read more

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I Wasn't Joking

A few people have questioned the sincerity of my comment on "staying at home would mean having a clean house and gourmet meals". But I truly did believe this. I thought the kids would play together for a few hours each day while I got household chores done. My three year old plays by herself no problem, but when the one year old is awake, that means trouble. They FIGHT over everything. One would think due to their age difference that they would play separately, and on occasion, play together. But that is not the case at all, I must intervene constantly, interrupting my attempts at cooking and cleaning.

I hear from other moms that this is typical, not to expect much along the lines of a clean house and great meals. I still believe it is possible somehow to have fun, and live in a clean environment, without hiring a cleaning service. I'll let you know when we reach that point.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Cloth Diapers

When I had my first baby I was 100% certain I would use only cloth diapers. Of course, for vacations and special occasions, I would splurge on a disposable diaper. I do love the environment, I swear I do. The day I went back to work, I pretty much gave up the idea of cloth. We found using them on the weekends and evenings not enough to do a full load often, so we always had a gross pail of diapers anxiously awaiting the washing machine. Daycare wouldn't allow us to bring our in children wearing cloth due to health reasons, so it just wasn't practical for us to continue.

As a full time mom, I could justify using disposable since I really am busier than ever, and I do so incredibly much laundry as it is. But the first full week at home, I finally had a true picture of how much waste we were making. Sorry Proctor and Gamble, but I really don't need to help with the landfill, you are doing a great job filling them up without our help. The Swiffer, disposable counter wipes, one use toilet brushes and now disposable bibs! (another stuntmom topic awaits) So after one week we filled up the diaper pail. I mean FULL. So only a week ago I found it so acceptable to be in disposables because I could justify the "save the water and soap" campaign. But since I'm doing so much laundry, what's throwing in a few cloth diapers too?

So I have mastered the technique for cloth diapers. I know there are many schools, but here is what works for me:

1.Chinese prefold cloth diaper inserts
2. Wraps of various sizes and types. I'm in love with biobottoms wool, but I hear they are out of business. They seem to have the best fit for my child and I love the snaps that work to keep them on. I have the good fortune to only have purchased a few since many people try out cloth, and then realize it isn't for them, or their children quickly outgrew a certain size. They are so costly that most people hang onto them in effort to find them a home. So ask around. There could be people you know that want to share their experience with you.
3. A diaper pail. I use a plastic container that used to hold cat litter, because a handle and lid are imperative.

Put all of the dirty diapers in the dry pail. No need to soak. I do soak the overly soiled inserts in the toilet to get them as clean of solid waste as possible before going into the pail, then washer.

I put them in the wash on the pre-wash cycle so they have a chance to rinse before adding my clothes. To Read More click here
Good luck!

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Fourth of July

I've been reading the book America is by Louise Borden to my oldest daughter all week in effort to explain the Fourth of July. The book forces the reader to sing the Star Spangled Banner, which just so happens to be her favorite song at the moment. It's a perfect intoduction to understanding what is the United States of America- maybe not understanding it, but at least discussing it.

Today we went to the typical parties. Well, at least the first party was fairly typical (not to be sounding ungrateful- the food was wonderful! And the house is amazing!). It was out in the suburbs, although not seeming so since they have a lot of land, an old old house, and no neighbors. Anyway, we brought our dish, along with our two fussy children. We ate, watched the water balloon fights, chatted, and left in time to make it to the other party we attend every year.

The next party is not typical. It's held in the city, but in the city where the plots of land and houses are rather large, making it seem semi- rural. The party is hosted by one of my old bosses from my corporate world days. This guy "Howie" who hosts the party every year is one of those people that knows everyone. You can't walk through ANY city without him saying "hey, I went to school with her, I worked with him",- you know the type. So he has this party every year, where there are hundreds of kids and adults, and he seems to be able to entertain them all. One year he had a popular kid's musician playing (don't ask me the name, you have to trust me that he is famous). He always has custom made Coozies for the party to ensure that no one is drinking a cold beer- without his name on it.

My favorite part of the party is the giant slip and slide he builds every year. He covers the hill in his back yard with a HUGE sheet of plastic in the manner of Christo. Kids spend the entire party going down the giant water slide. Of course an occasional adult will go down it too, but they always seem to get injured due to the speed they pick up, and the body weight vs. gravity.

My kids have yet to partake in the slide, but they really had a great time watching the other children slide into the mud pit at the bottom of the hill.

Fireworks are viewed from the front yard of his house, but we have yet to stay to see the grand display due to the age of our youngest.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

It's Not Just for the Burbs

City life has many advantages, short commutes, leave your car at home for errands, bus lines, diversity, and the list goes on. One factor that I seldom remember to add to the list is the sense of community.

We live in the city on a fairly busy street and every year for the last three, we have been able to get the street together for a urban block party. We block off our street with the approval of the police department, and we wheel our grills, picnic tables, tricycles, kiddie pools and sprinklers into the middle of the street and the fun begins. Everyone brings a dish to share, along with their meat or meat like products to grill as a family. One year we had a band that played until the fans went home (a blessing in disguise since they set up next door, and it was our first day home from the hospital with baby #2)

Of course, living in the city, there occasionally is the person that strolls by for a free hamburger or beer, but that is to be expected, so they usually eat their food, and then head back to where they were going in the first place.

Here is a photo of the fun! What's a party without a polaroid camera?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Getting a Second Opinion

Just a quick follow up from the vet hospital. Stanley is doing fine. Our wonderful vet suggested holding off on daily meds since she will build up an immunity, and the medication will adventually not work. Dr. Bob is an honest and wonderful vet, Thanks Dr. Bob!