3rd Annual Diaper Drive

MM_12for1wTag-01 (1)

My dear friends – it’s almost that time again! I can’t believe we are just a week away from the launch of the THIRD ANNUAL 12 For 1 Diaper Drive! I am so excited for a lot of reasons – the main one is 20,000 diapers. I know we can do it and I can’t WAIT to see what that looks like.

As I do every year, I am asking for your help and there are a LOT of ways you can be involved. Here are some FAQs from the past two years to help you help babies keep their tushies dry.

Q: What can I donate?

A: We are collecting diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream. St. Martin’s Ministries is in need of all sizes, but specifically sizes 4 and up. Brand doesn’t matter and we will happily accept open/damaged boxes or loose diapers.

Q: Where can I send or drop off donations?

A: If you want to drop off diapers you can take them to The Barry’s House in Denton, The Weisman’s House in Crofton or Choptank Transport who is generously donating the space to store donations. You can also order diapers online and have it shipped to one of those locations. Please contact me for those addresses.

Q: I don’t have time to shop. Can I send money?

A: You bet. We have the ability to get great deals with the money donated. You can send a check to me, Paypal me or simply go to gofund.me/12for1diaperdrive. 100% of donations will go towards diapers, wipes and cream.

We will also accept gift cards such as Target or Amazon.

Q: I don’t have the funds to make a donation right now. Are there other ways to help?

A: YES! Of course. The easiest way to help is to share not only information about the diaper drive, but the diaper gap in general. Share the diaper drive updates on your social media sites (use #12for1), ask your friends for any diapers they aren’t using, and cut coupons. We can also use help loading and unloading in July at the conclusion of the campaign. If none of those fit your skill set, you tell us. What are your talents?

June is not only my favorite month because it’s Mike’s birthday month, but I also eat, talk and dream about diapers. I hope you will help spread the word and get us to 20,000 diapers.

 

Dear Mike: March & April 2016

Well hello lovey!

I would call you ‘mini-monster’ (with love), but when I call you that you always say, ‘No. Me Mikey!’, so lovey it is.

I am finally finding time to write because YOU ARE TAKING A NAP! I feel like we might have just witnessed a miracle. You have stopped napping and by 5PM you hate everyone. I don’t blame you of course, but I spend a good portion of the day sending good vibes to Rachel that you sleep at daycare. I can’t remember the last time you slept on a weekend!  I am also finally writing because I decided that being done is better than being perfect.

{First overnight with Geema and Appa} Momma and Daddy decided it was high time we took a trip overnight alone! We packed your bag, met Geema at Wawa before the bridge and off you went! We knew it would be no big deal and we were right. We checked in a few times in those 24 hours, but the report was always good. You were happy and having a great time playing with Appa and Mollie. You might have given Geema a hard time at naptime, but you figured out pretty quick you were going to take a rest.

March

{Swimming} We signed up for another session at SwimFirst and you had such a great time. I took you a few times and Daddy did the rest. You loved playing ‘Hunty Hunty’ (or Humpty Dumpty) where you sit on the side of the pool and ‘fall’ into open arms. The very last class I passed you underwater to your instructor and he passed you back. It was so funny because he kept telling you to close your mouth and you would squeeze your eyes closed with your mouth wide open. You are quite the little fishy. I am excited for summertime in Appa’s pool!

{Dad Traveling} Daddy spent 2 weeks in May travelling for work, so it was a lot of Mommy time.  You asked about him a lot (Daddy doin’?) but we made a point to video chat with him every night and call him in the morning. We even made ‘love bags’ and you had a great time decorating notes with stickers and scribbles. You are a BIG fan of tracing your hands and feet on just about anything these days.

{Saying Things Opposite} You are certainly speaking a lot more with sparingly cohesive thoughts and questions. However, you are still a little confused with opposites. It took quite a while for us to realize you don’t want to radio ON (when it already was), you want it UP (which I am happy to comply with!). Also seeing and hearing. We take a lot of opportunities to remind you you SEE the truck with your eyes and HEAR the truck with your ears.

{Kinderfarm} We ventured out one day when the weather cleared to Kinderfarm and you had a blast! It was pretty quiet, but you went from pen to pen talking to the animals. You were very interested in the chickens and wished them a happy, fun day. “Hi shick-kins. Bye shick-kins, have fun!”

{Easter} Kid, you are a jellybean eating machine. The Easter Bunny left you a trail of eggs from your crib to your basket and you popped each one open and shoved those jellybeans in your mouth like it was your job.

APR

{Drew’s birthday} You and I traveled back to Virginia to go to Drew’s 5th birthday. You had a great time bouncing in the bounce house and watching Miss Miranda do a magic show.  It was interesting for me to see you interact with kids who are a few years older AND you don’t know. You were so calm, cool and collected. One little girl yelled at you because you had 2 noisemakers and she wanted one. You looked a little shell shocked, like why is this chick yelling at me, and after taking a beat you nicely handed her a noisemaker. Clearly you have mastered picking your battles. Maybe not with Daddy and me, but everyone else.

{Mollie’s birthday} Mollie’s birthday party was so much fun for you because you adore your cousin. You hung out with her friends and played pin the shell on the mermaid. You showed no hesitation with new kids and sweet? I adore that. I know as an adult it’s hard to meet new people in a group setting, but I can see you assessing the situation and jumping right in.

Well my love, it’s time to start planning YOUR birthday party! The days are long (sometimes excruciatingly so) but trust me when I say the years are fast.

I’ll eat you up, I love you so

Momma xoxo

Friday Five: Bath Time Multitasking

Oh hey. Remember me? I’ve been too busy being a Momma to actually write about it, but that’s a pretty lame excuse. I get the blogging itch at the worst times and the best times to actually blog I opt to do things like sleep or watch Gilmore Girls reruns. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I am also spending time on Pinterest these days planning Mike’s 3rd birthday party (!!!!) and a lot of my friends are pinning ‘bath time activities’. That’s a thing? I am talking ideas like ‘sensory bath theme’ ideas.  Our evenings are so routine the last thing I want to do is plan a sensory bath. Mike usually grabs 2 trucks, I grab his Minion bubble bath and it’s in and out.

That said, we do have fun baths sometimes and I would consider it bonding time. We do things like driving the trucks off the edge of the tub to their demise, or use a colander to make it rain (which has a different meaning now that I have a kid). But not every bath is an ‘event’. Here are the Friday Five things I do during bath time that help me multitask while making sure Mike is safe and not pretending he is in a hurricane.

bath1

bath2

 

What else can I do while Mike is entertaining himself in the bathtub?

Happy Birthday Mollie!

My dearest Mols –

How on EARTH are you 3 today? It doesn’t seem possible, but then again, I feel like you should be turning 13. I don’t remember life before you and I can’t picture our life without you in it. When I think of ways to describe you, I think of just a few weeks ago on Easter. Everyone was milling around, helping get the food ready and catching up. I glanced over towards the front door and there you are – arms over your head like a ballerina just twirling. You were all alone in your own world dancing. It was in the moment I thought, ‘yep. That sums up Mollie’s world, dancing when literally no one is watching’. It was such a pure, innocent moment I will hold close.

My dear, you are a fabulous cousin to Mikey. Despite your small age range, you have taken it upon yourself to show him the ways of the world, just like we knew you would. He adores you as well! You are a happy, charming and polite kid, which comes as no surprise. You have an opinion on everything and a smile that will convince anyone to hand you the moon. Keep that going kid, it will take you places in life, just use that power for good – I know you will.

I was thinking this morning about where I was when you were born, a story I will probably tell every April 4th. I was on a cramped bus to New York City with my big belly full of Mikey. I had lots to time to pray for your Mom and Dad and think about the person you would become. You have not disappointed me kid.

Have an amazing birthday, thank you for making me an Aunt (and Uncle S. an Uncle!).

We love you,

Aunt Jay Jay xoxo

PicMonkey Collage

A Big Fat …

Mike has been requesting The Very Hungry Caterpillar every night now for a few weeks and he is getting pretty good at finishing the sentences (‘still hun-gee’). At least I THOUGHT he knew book by heart.

The Scene: S. and Mike sitting on the floor before bed reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

S.: Now he wasn’t hungry anymore–and he wasn’t a little caterpillar anymore. He was a big …

Mike: FAT PIG!

S.: (stifling a laugh) Fat caterpillar.

Mike: Oh.

Well. He isn’t wrong.

The-Very-Hungry-Caterpillar_04

Talk to Matt Marr & Jackie

Or ‘That Time I Was on a Podcast with the Guy from that Commercial and I was Geeking Out‘.

During my long commutes I was spending time sitting in traffic and listening to podcasts and came to really look forward to the Dear Mattie Podcast. Matt Marr is an actor in LA who just happens to be a clinical therapist and a lover of people and their stories. His podcast features his friends and listener submitted questions and lots of hilarity. Of course I friended him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I pretty much cyber stalked him and talked about him as if we had been BFFs since preschool.

Then I found out he liked me too! He’s been a follower of the blog and loves seeing pictures of Mike. Basically the only two requirements to be my friend (insider tip). THEN he asked me to be on the podcast. I had a few weeks to become charming and get my eyebrows waxed.

We recorded last week via Blab and I swear, I could have chatted with him for HOURS. It was just like sitting around the table eating Triscuts and drinking Naty Boh on a Friday night. As you do. So if you want, check out the podcast don’t do it at work (we might have said a few no-no words).

You can download it on iTunes, Sticher or listen to it here.

12440263_925335437582175_3802612329649577284_o

Mood vs Manners Printable

One lesson my Momma taught me that has really stuck with me was this – just because I was having a bad day doesn’t mean everyone else should have to deal with it. Seriously, if you don’t learn any other life lesson, that is one that will get you through.

I remember telling her someone was mean or grumpy with me, and her response was always the same, “Maybe their underwear is too tight,” meaning maybe it isn’t all about me. Maybe they were having a bad day before they came in contact with me. But ultimately, it’s not my fault.

I have called customer service lines millions of times and sometimes, not all the time, I am met with someone who is having a bad day. Perhaps their underwear is on too tight. But guess what? Your mood should NOT dictate your manners. I don’t care if you are having a really bad day – either go be alone or mind your manners.

I am not perfect (spoiler alert) and sometimes need this reminder too, so I made a quick printable to hang in my office. I thought you guys might like it as well! It’s a simple reminder for kids AND adults.

Download it here! 

your mood should not dictate your manners

Hamilton: Dear Theodosia

I am basically obsessed with the Broadway musical Hamilton. From the minute I get in the car to the minute I get out of the car at home I am listening to the cast album. Even Mike asks for the ‘Ta Da’ song, which is called ‘You’ll Be Back’. At night when I can’t sleep I YouTube all things Hamilton – interviews with the writer and actor Lin-Miranda Manuel, mashups, bootlegs … it’s a problem.

What’s Hamilton? It’s Alexander Hamilton’s life story (loosely) set to hip hop music. I have never learned so much about history and retained the information like I have until I heard Hamilton. I find the story of how Miranda came to write and star in the musical utterly fascinating.

One song I play over and over again is Dear Theodosia. It is a love letter from Aaron Burr to his daughter Theodosia and from Alexander Hamilton to his son Phillip. It really makes my complex feelings about being a Mom seem so simple and beautiful. Of course, the dynamics between Hamilton and Burr during this duet could be a term paper on it’s own, but I’ll save that for another time.

www.mywebsite.com

 

12 For 1 Launches!

The past two years has taught me quite a few things when it comes to diapers:

  • Babies need a lot of diapers and diapers are expensive.
  • WIC and other social service programs don’t cover the cost of diapers or wipes which is not only a mental health issue for parents and a health and hygiene issue for babies.
  • There are very few diaper resources in Caroline County, Maryland – my hometown. And there is no single resource for people to find or donate diapers on Delmarva.
  • If you ask for help, people will help.

This is why I am excited to FINALLY announce the launch of 12 For 1 – Diapering Delmarva! Not only will the diaper drive be hosted through the new site, but it will also be a place for people who are looking for a place to donate diapers and a place to receive diapers on DelMarVa. Organizations are listed by county and include as much information as we could find.

This site has been all consuming for the past few weeks and I couldn’t have gotten it done as quickly as I did without the help from Phyllis, Jessica W, Momma Sandi, S., and Jeny Tyler Creative.

I am still updating content and gearing up for June’s diaper drive, so I hope you will help me spread the word and share 12 For 1 with your friends and family.

234dbb8489bdc7f7dddc12ec7c9ebdf4

Dear Mike: January and February 2016

Hello my little lovie!

2016 has already been an eventful year and we are only 2 months in! It seems like suddenly you are this short, funny, opinionated adult. I should put emphasis on OPINIONATED. It seems that Daddy and I wanted you to talk so badly that you took it to the next level and always have something to say. That’s not really a bad thing.

janfeb16

You are still very obsessed with the Minions. The good thing is they encourage you to eat bananas (but only out of the peel and perfectly yellow like your momma likes them), but the bad thing is Daddy and I are SO tired of the movies. Sometimes we try another movie, but we always default back to the Minions per your request.

Dinosaurs! You have taken to wearing your dino tail and feet again to stomp around the house. The other night when you were in the bathtub you asked me what was in the drain. I told you to look an you said dinosaurs. Through our conversation I found out we have three nice dinosaurs living in our drain. I think I am okay with that.

You are a pepperoni lover to the fullest. If we ask you what you want to eat 9 times out of 10 you say ‘onis’. I am sure it isn’t the healthiest option, but you counter that with ‘baby corncobs’, apple sauce and whatever well rounded meals you get at daycare. Thankfully. You never say no to Reese’s or lollipops either.

You have turned into quite a hoarder. Anytime you leave a room you have an armful of random things, we like to call your treasures or ‘deedurs’. Sometimes it’s kitchen utensils, sometimes it’s random papers from the table, sometimes it’s just toys. But they go everywhere and sometimes you even ask for a bucket. Needless to say we don’t bat an eye when we find a crab mallet in the bathroom cabinet.

We got to visit Pop-Pop for his birthday this year and you had so much fun. The cats weren’t thrilled with your visit, but you were so excited to be able to touch a real life ‘key a cat’.

We also went to the BWI Airport Observation Deck to shake out the sillies on weekend and you loved the whole airport experience. Every time someone came on the speaker to make an announcement you would say ‘uh oh’! You were also pretty disappointed when we couldn’t take home one of the model airplanes from the display.

This highlight of the last 2 months was the SNOW! We had almost 3 feet and got to spend some quality family time together. We bundled you up and you had a blast trying to run around and helping ‘shovel’. You were perfectly content playing inside as well – we watched movies, made cookies and didn’t spend much time wearing anything but PJs. You did go sledding out back for the first time and you LOVED it. I mean, LOVED it. From standing at the bottom I would see you with a flash of fear, then total joy.

I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo