Monthly Archives: March 2011

A LOT of Responsibility

A Recent Conversation with my Sister that left me in a fit of laughter so intense, I peed a little:

 K: Can you lend me one of Charlie’s baby dolls? I need it for my upcoming childbirth and breastfeeding classes.

M: Sure, and I think Mom has some of our old CabbagePatch dolls, too.

K: Yeah, but I want a nicer doll than those.

M: Do you want Charlie’s American Doll Baby?

K: OOoohh – I don’t know, that’s a lot of responsibility.

M: You know you’re having a REAL baby, right?



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Filed under Baby, Fun, Sisters

Consignment Queens

In the world of Mommy-hood, the thrill of new baby stuff wears thin pretty quickly.  When you are expecting your first baby, you do the registry thing – a MUCH more stressful version of the wedding registry.   Researching and evaluating car seat safety ratings is much more nerve-wracking then, say, selecting the largest margarita glasses you can get your hands on.   But anyway – then the baby comes.  And you learn that, while your *best friend’s baby* LOVED the swing – your baby screams bloody murder every time you walk past the swing.  And you learn that your baby hates the bouncy.  And you learn that your stroller isn’t as practical as you’d hoped.  And you learn that babies only wear clothes a few times, if ever, before they outgrow them.  And you learn that no matter how big your house is, the baby stuff seems to be EVERYWHERE!!!  You learn a lot.  Once you get the hang of all of this “learning” (aka – the baby screams, you learn something new in order to survive) – you start to realize WHAT A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY AND PLASTIC all this baby crap is. 

Enter the world of consignment shopping.  I LOVE consignment shopping.  Every spring and fall, like clockwork, all of the big children’s consignment sales are held – allowing you to purchase gently used kid-stuff for a fraction of the retail price.  Clothes, toys, baby and kid gear – you name it – I buy it on the cheap.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of introducing my sister, K, to the world of Mommy Consignment sales.  K’s not what you would consider your average bargain shopper, much less one to consider purchasing “used”.  Now, to be honest, K did accompany me to a sale last fall when we just found out about her little bundle of joy.  For the most part, she stuck close to me, just observing, and ever so confused about the aggressive crowds of bargain-hungry Mamas.   This time, she was going to be brave – on the look-out for a few specific items – visible baby-bump on display.   We were hopeful.  We had a plan.  We joked about the possibility of her needing an emergency whistle

We pushed forward.  I led her through several racks of not-what-we-were-looking-for as I spotted racks of baby girl clothes across the room.  I alerted K and headed off, leaving her to find her own treasures.  Ten minutes later, K tracks me down in the racks, two baby toys in hand.  She was too confused.  I sighed.  And handed her armloads of clothes and shoes.  I’m pretty sure I outfitted both of my girls for the summer for less than a hundred dollars this weekend.  Also.  SIT AND SPIN!!

Better luck next season, K.  You’ll get the hang of it.

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Filed under Fun, Mom, Shopping, Sisters

Organic vs. Chemistry: a tale of not-so-dramatic duplicity

My ongoing journey on the “Organic Mommy” trail is a long and winding road littered with countless magazine articles, blogs, and industry propaganda.  To put it honestly: I’m pretty conflicted as to where I’m going to draw my personal line between organic/natural/non-toxic and convenient/cheap/easy.  Beacause really, while the former may eventually improve my family’s quality of life, the latter will help me maintain my sanity. 
But what makes me feel the need to choose?  Can I be All-Natural with a side of Better Living Through Chemistry?
When I was a kid, in the eighties, living with Mom and Dad – our city started a recycling program when I was in the fourth grade.  I clearly remember having an assembly in school about recycling, and learning about the little triangle with the arrows telling us to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle”.  Our family was HUGE into recycling, following all of the rules, rinsing out all the cans and bottles, crushing large plastic bottles to save space in the bin, folding and tying all the cardboard, etc.  It became a habit, and after a while, the burden of the practice didn’t really impact our lives (unless you were the one who had to run the cans and bottles out to the bin in the February sleet).
When I went to college, I majored in engineering, chemical engineering to be specific, because I wanted to work with something called a fuel cell.  I think I read about them in National Geographic or something.  Don’t ask.  As a “ChemE” major, I had to take more classes in chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and laboratory chemistry than I even want to remember.  And classes on bioengineering and plastics engineering and fuel engineering.  My head swims just thinking about it. 
And now I’m a Mom.  And every time I scrub the heck out of the bathtub with some abrasive bleach cleaner, I try not to think of my baby’s bum sitting on that scrubbed, bleached surface.  And what if I didn’t rinse it as well as I thought I did?  Eeek. 

But are natural and/or homemade cleaners as effective?  Will things get clean enough?  And what should I use?  And, after all the research and pondering, will switching to more natural products save me money?  How much time will this cost? 
So, Readers, I present to you my first Big Sister challenge: I will (not so) slowly and selectively change my ways and introduce natural cleaning products into my family’s life and document my successes and failures with you.  I’ll be sure to include my products of choice and how much they cost (both time and materials, of course).   Stay tuned: first up, the kitchen!

In the meantime, check out some of my research and the links in this post, let me know what you think – any ideas?

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Filed under Green, Mom

Rearview mirror.

I’m one of those people that, while completely un-gifted in the music/rhthym/tone department, has a great appreciation for music.  I love music, most music.  I associate songs and bands with different people, different times of my life, different meanings than the artists themselves intended, I’m sure.  I can look back at a time in my life, and know what was playing on the radio/tape deck/CD player/computer and how I felt and who I was with.   It’s a little flashback into my past. 

And then this morning, taking the girls to school, listening to the radio, a favorite song from way back when bursts on.  I immediately start singing along, doing a little car-dance-wiggle behind the wheel.  I love this song so much. 

I look back to my little big girl, who’s still rear-facing in her carseat and has to use a mirror to look to the front seat, and she’s bopping right along with me.  By the end of the song, she’d figured out some of the words and was very proud of herself.  And my heart swelled, and made me love this song even more than I already do, if that’s even possible.

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