Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent - Is it worth it?

It seems lately that a lot of moms are switching to making their own homemade laundry soap. I've been getting tired of spending a ton of money on safe, ECO-friendly laundry detergents, so I thought I would give it a try. I started out using the basic recipe I found on most sites.
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha laundry soap

So I began by grating the Fels-Naptha. About halfway through I started to wonder about the decision to use this product since the smell was so overpowering. It occurred to me that I hadn't checked the label on the back of the soap. Why? I don't know. I always check labels. I guess my initial feeling was that this was supposed to be natural and safer so I didn't need to worry about it. After checking the label, I realized how misguided this thought was.

This is how it reads: 
Ingredients: Cleaners, soil and stain removers, chelating agents, colorants, perfume

I hate it when companies do this. I think I have a right to know what is in a cleaning product. It doesn't help me feel better when I read the caution right below the ingredients which read:

Caution: Eye and Skin Irritant. Avoid contact with eyes and prolonged contact with skin.

So It was at this point I decided to do some investigating. I found the actual list of ingredients on the Fels-Naptha web site. Here they are: 

Soap (sodium tallowate*, sodium cocoate* (or) sodium palmate kernelate*, and sodium palmate*), water, talc, cocnut acid*, palm acid*, tallow acid*, PEG-6 methyl ether, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium chloride, pentasodium pentetate and/or tetrasodium etidronate, titatium dioxide, fragrance, Acid Orange (CI 20170), Acid yellow 73 (ci43350) 

Since I can't tell you what any of those ingredients are, I had to do some more searching.  What I found was that a number of these ingredients are questionable, and they most definitely are not natural. (Although arsenic is natural so maybe that shouldn't be a litmus test for health) For example: Titatium dioxide is a known contaminate and is harmful to wildlife, Acid yellow 73 is banned for use in cosmetics and show to be potentially unsafe in a number of studies, and PEG-6 methyl ether is a skin irritant and there is a small amount of evidence that it may be linked to organ toxicity.

Overall, it's not so bad, but my feeling is if I'm going to go to all this trouble to make my own laundry soap, then I should feel like it's safe for my family. So I decided to toss the Fels-Naptha and purchased some castile bar soap. I got Dr. Bronner's All in One Hemp Rose Castile Soap. It smells so good! So I grated it up and combined it with the other two ingredients. I used it in my wash a few times but it only worked okay to be honest. A lot of my clothes were coming out stained and I didn't feel like they were getting as clean as I would like. One plus.. my clothes came out much softer.

Not to mention, I was a bit put off by using borax. I have avoided it for a long time because I am concerned about it being slightly toxic. It was one of the main reasons I took so long to make my own laundry soap. I use hydrogen peroxide in my all purpose cleaner instead of borax. I have tried many times over to research borax, but have found much of the information out there to be contradictory so to be on the safe side, I decided to look into ways of making laundry soap without it.

Most of what I found was simply the same recipe as above without the borax. So I thought I would give it a try, but as I was mixing my ingredients, on a whim, I decided to check the directions for using the washer soda. To my surprise, it said to add 1/2 a cup to loads to increase the effectiveness of your detergent. 1/2 a cup! I was using about a tablespoon a load. No wonder it didn't work well. So I adjusted my recipe as follows:
  • 1 bar Castile soap
  • 7 cups washing soda
At about a  half cup a load, that equaled 16 loads. It worked much better, except my clothes weren't as soft so I gave in and added a cup of borax to the mix to make it:
  • 1 bar Castile soap
  • 7 cups washing soda or a whole 55oz box
  • 1 cup borax
That helped, though my clothes still weren't as soft as before. They were definitely coming out much cleaner though. 

So here is my issue.... was it worth it? Did I save any money on this venture or am I better off going back to the ECO detergents?

So I did the math.

My laundry soap cost $3.59 for the soap, $3.29 for the box of washer soda and 4.79 for box of the borax which I used approximately $.50 worth.  If I use the full 1/2 cup per load this comes out to... (drum roll)

Grand total: $7.38 or $.41 a load 

Per load, this is how it compared to the Eco friendly detergents:
  • 7th Generation liquid  $16.00 for 66 loads or $.24 a load
  • 7th Generation powder $15.00 for 70 loads or $.21 a load
  • Method $15.50 for 50 loads or $.31 a load
  • and Meyers $16.00 for 64 loads or $.25 a load

Wow! That's a big difference! Of course, most of us realize the number of loads represented on a box is usually inflated, listing the amounts or a "regular" or medium size load when I'm referring to a large load, but even so it's a big difference. From what I can tell both financially and time-wise, it just doesn't make any sense to make your own soap. Now, if you are dealing with allergies or just want to be absolutely sure of what's in your soap, then this could be a good alternative.

But for me, it just makes better sense to buy.

Next investigation... which laundry detergent works best! :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Organized - Children's Toys

I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!

So as I might have mentioned once or twice before, I'm a slob. And not a happy one either. I hate my house being such a disorganized mess. It drives me crazy! I said I was going to take this summer to get my act together now that I wasn't working and had more time. Didn't happen. I got sidetracked will a million other things and quit before I even got started. But on my trip a few weeks ago to visit family in Miami, I had an inspiration... my sister in law. She has two kids, two jobs, and the nicest most organized home I've ever seen. No, she did not clean it up for our visit. She actually keeps it that way ALL OF THE TIME!

She admitted to me that she was a bit OCD, but unfortunately for me, that is one disease that isn't contagious so almost immediately after our arrival back in town, my house returned to its usual trashed-like state. I wanted to pull my hair out! Luckily, I had the image of my sweet sister in my mind reminding me that it is possible. My house can be clean. So now, I am a woman on a mission, and unlike my mission to lose weight this is a real mission that I will complete or die trying. (Okay. Maybe that was a bit overdramatic). I will organize my house! Who's with me?

First off, the one part of the house, I started, but never got around to finishing... the playroom.

This playroom actually started out as a home preschool that I ran for a couple years. I closed it this spring, and turned it into my kids playroom. I have a few things in here that I think were pretty cool ideas that I'd like to share.

First off, is the reading area. As you might have noticed, this "couch" is actually a toddler bed, purchased at a garage sale. I got the mattress on craigslist. I'm not typically a fan of used mattresses, but they aren't sleeping on it so I'm not so worried. It's really nice because I can cover it with a mattress pad and sheet, and wash them easily when they get dirty. Underneath the couch are book bins - labeled with pictures so my daughter knows where the books go. I'd prefer a bookcase, but simply didn't have the space for it.

Next you'll see my block area. It's actually a really old entertainment center, but works great for the blocks. Old entertainment centers are wonderful for storing kids toys. They are sturdy and have deep shelves which are usually a good fit for plastic bins. They are also low to the ground and don't pose a tipping hazard. Best of all, since no one uses big heavy TV's anymore, you can often find these for really cheap at garage sales or goodwill.


Beside the blocks is our easel. I purchased it for $35.00 at A.C. Moore with a half off coupon. Moving on...

On the opposite end of the room I have a ridiculous amount of dress up clothes (remember, I ran a preschool).  To avoid having to drill hooks into the wall, I just used Command wall hangers to hang the clothes on and a crate to hold the larger items in. I also have a three drawer bin, to hold all of the little things like tiaras and dress-up shoes.


Our art table was, if I do say so myself, as stroke or genius or maybe just common sense. Either way, it's awesome! All I did was take a wooden kitchen table I purchased on Craigslist and have the legs cut down at Home Depot (for free :) ).

Above the table, I placed thin rectangles of cork board along the wall to hang the children's art from.

Last but not least, is my wall of cubbies. I already had the wooden cases from my school, as well as a few of the boxes. Then I spent the next couple of weeks hoarding A.C. Moore coupons (see a trend here) and purchasing them one at a time to save money. I even went so far as to have my 6 year old buy a few with coupons so I wouldn't have to make multiple trips. (Hey, it says one coupon per customer. There were no stipulations about the customer's age). The challenge with these cubbies is that they are, obviously, not transparent so the kids can't see what's in them, and labels don't stick well to the canvas coverings. My solution was to make labels and hang them from the box handles with tiny climbing hooks. I got them two for a dollar at Walmart.

How do I make labels? Well, I'm so glad you asked. This is what I do:

I make them in word.

First I choose a simple font, like Veranda or Times, and make a list of all the descriptions I want to use to label my bins. These are going to be different for everyone depending on your child's interests, but just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are the ones I made: Art, Coloring books, Play dough, Horses, Action Figures, Barbies, Cars, Stamps, Dress-up, Instruments, Books, Legos, Animals and Dolls. Next, I googled images to match my descriptions, and saved the pictures I liked into their own file. (You can just use clip art, but I've found much nicer images through Google). Then, I divided my document into two columns (to save paper) and inserted the pictures beneath the descriptions.  I then printed, cut and laminated all of my labels. I have have a lamination machine, but you can get yours laminated at any copy store.

Depending on the size of your bins and the kinds of bins you use, these labels will need to be printed differently. If you're using typical plastic bins, you can just size your labels to fit, print, cut and laminate them before taping them to your bins. If you have canvas bins like mine, you will want to leave extra space at the top of each label. Once you print them, you will need to cut the labels out leaving that extra room at the top for you to punch a hole into. After you laminate and cut out the final labels, you can punch that same hole again, thread the clamps through them, and hang them on their corresponding bins. Here's how one of my final ones looked.

It was a little time consuming, but I think it will totally be worth it in the long run.  At least the kids can't claim they don't know where things go anymore, which I hope will reduce the amount of junk they leave strewn all over the house. Best of all, their playroom looks super cute!

If you have any questions or ideas to share, please leave me a message in the comments below. I will do my best to address them as quickly as possible.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hop

I am a featured host for the blog hop today. Thanks so much to Karen from "Tots and Me" for including me. Now lets hop!

Welcome to the forty-sixth weekend of Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hops.
Giveaway Linky is the bottom linky!
First things first:
Don't forget to check out my co-host's blog:
Adventures of the Mommy Homemaker
In case you didn't know, I have also started randomly choosing a Featured host each week from the Lovin' The Readers linky. This week I would like to introduce you to Courtney from Musings of an im-Perfect Mom. Her blog is quite new, and I'm sure she would love some followers. She has quite a few great informational posts for parents, including DIY, Crafts/Education and other resources. Please take the time to check out her blog. 
Please make sure to stop by and say hi, let them know you are visiting from the Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops.Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. I would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? I'm looking forward to getting to know my readers better.
Here's how this blog hop works. I would appreciate it if you would follow myself, my co-host and my Featured Host via GFC. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkys you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on my sidebar). I'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. I'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  
I have noticed that some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, I decided to create two separate linkys. The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.
If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. I will follow you back if you follow me (just note which one you are linking to):
Tots and Me
If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:
Tots and Me
If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.
Tots and Me
I am so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and I will be sure to stop by and follow back.
Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great weekend blog hops!! The Back to Preschool Giveaway Blast is up and running strong. Stop by to enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 prizes geared for young children.  Grand prize is valued at $418 and has an awesome collection of items. And there is a 2nd Place Prize Pack and 3 runner up prizes. Good luck!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deceptive Marketing - Children's Multivitamins

Most of us want to believe the people who produce children's products actually care about our children. They don't. Like everyone else, all they care about is their bottom line.

  • That is why baby bottle companies continued to make bottles using BPA even though evidence indicated it might not be safe.
  • That is why millions of toys produced in China were recalled for containing lead paint.
  • That is why foods containing artificial flavors and dyes, high fructose corn syrup and trans fat are marketed to children
And that is why  NBTY, Inc. (and subsidiary's NatureSmart LLC and Rexall Sundown, Inc.) deceptively labeled their Disney Princesses and Marvel Superhero children's multivitamins, to make us believe they contained the DHA our children need for healthy brain and eye development when they didn't.

In actuality, they contained only a fraction of the DHA necessary to substantiate these claims.

Read the full article here.

It is just another example of corporate America trying to dupe the public into buying their sub-standard crap. And I fell for it. I bought both of these multivitamins for my two children, specifically opting for these over the more natural options because they contained DHA. And now I'm pissed off. Not because my kids didn't get the DHA I thought they were getting, and not because I spent so much money on these crappy vitamins, but because I was duped.

I have always taken pride in my ability to see through corporate propaganda, thoroughly evaluating every product that came into my home and not taking things at face value, but I totally dropped the ball on this one. I didn't check to see if the amount of DHA these vitamins contained was enough to support the effects they were touting. It honestly didn't even occur to me.

And though I know the vitamins weren't made by Disney, it saddens me to see how they would apply their brand to a product without first evaluating it. Not that I would really expect this from any corporation, especially one as big as Disney. Like I said, I'm aware that they don't really care about my children. It's a fact of the world we live in and I realize that, but it still makes me a little sad.

Mostly, it just pisses me off.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tie-dye Snowflakes

With this activity, I've taken the typical paper snowflake and jazzed it up a bit. It is very simple to do, and since the paper is thin, it takes less strength to cut making it a good activity for preschool children. This does take a bit of skill using scissors so it would probably be best for children 3 and up - possibly younger with a lot of help. My almost 4-year-old was able to do it all by herself.

This is what you'll need
  • One 4 cup round coffee filter (white)
  • Markers
  • Newspaper or wax paper
  • Spray bottle
  • Scissors
  • Lay out the newspaper or wax paper and flatten the coffee filters out on top of it.
  • Have your child(ren) color the coffee filter with markers - making sure they use a lot of colors.
  • Once they have finished coloring their filter, have them spray it with water until the colors start to blend.(Make sure they don't spray too close - you want them to mist, not soak, it)
  • Leave it on newspaper or wax paper to dry.
  • Once the filters have dried, remove them from the newspaper.
  • Have your child fold the filter in half, then in half again
  • Next, show them how to cut the filter on all three sides, making sure to leave portions of the folded area connected.
  • Unfold, and voila! Tie-dye snowflakes! :)

Variation: If you want to make these look more traditionally tie-dyed:
  • Grab the center of the filter and pull the ends together like a cone.
  • Tie rubber bands or twisty ties around the filter.
  • Color and spray.
  • Let dry.
  • From this point you just follow the same directions as above.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Homemade Play-dough Recipe

This is the only homemade art recipe that has ever worked for me. (I have to say it may just be me). I won't even elaborate at the disaster that was my attempt at making finger paints my first week teaching - think rotten eggs and an entire Kindergarten and Pre-k evacuated. Oh yes. I did that. :) This recipe, however, is awesome. I love this play-doh. It gets softer as you work it, molds perfectly, and is completely safe (though not too tasty) to eat. Thank you to my friend Heather for sharing it with me.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used canola. I wouldn't advise using olive oil)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1+ tablespoons of food coloring

  • Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan adding the food coloring last. (I found that this worked best if I stirred everything up a bit before turning on the stove.) DO NOT PREHEAT!
  • Heat over medium to medium low heat stirring constantly. This will get tough. Keep a partner on hand to switch off with.
  • The play-doh will start coming off the side of the pan a little. Stir just a minute or so longer.
  • Remove the play-doh from the pan and lay it on the wax paper to cool down enough to touch.
  • Knead until smooth
  • Once cooled seal in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Making Clay Pots With Kids

Working with clay is so much fun, and children especially can't get enough of it. It's a great way to build up their fine motor skills and is a wonderful sensory experience. I have made pinch pots with children as young as three. Beyond the obvious difficulty of the task, clay isn't something you want your child ingesting so I think three is a pretty good cutoff.

To start, you will need to buy your clay. You'll want to get air dry clay, unless you have access to a kiln.  You can by it from a number of sites online (links below) or you can just get it from any A.C. Moore or Michaels (don't forget those coupons). If you're only using this for your family, get a small amount- 5 to10lbs. Clay is dense. A little goes a long way.

Next, you will need fishing line, or you can buy clay cutting wire. I just use fishing line and it works perfectly.
Select a workspace with a flat surface that's fairly easy to clean. Clay is so moist, it will tear up anything you try to cover the table with so it's easiest to just clean up afterwards. Clay is water soluble so water and a sponge work fine.

Wrap the fishing line around your fingers like this, and slice off a chunk of clay.  Give each child a piece about the size of a tennis ball.

Show them how to roll the clay in their hands or on the table to make a ball.


Once they've made their ball (or something close to a ball) have them give a thumbs up sign. Then use their thumb to press a hole deep into the ball, but not all the way through.The next thing you will need to show them is how to pinch their thumb and index fingers together.

Once they've shown you that they know how to pinch, you are ready to show them how to pinch around the ball to create the pot. But I guess I should show you first. :)

Placing your thumb all the way down into the hole squeeze your thumb and index fingers together to flatten the clay, repeat this all around the base of the pot. After you've finished the bottom, you just keep pinching your way around the pot until you've reached the top.

Once their pots are completed, They can use a little water to smooth out the clay if they'd like. You can give them a small bowl or cup of water to use, but instruct them to only dip two fingers at a time in the water. Too much water will destroy the clay.

Now they are ready to decorate their pots. Any pencil or play-dough tools will work. They can poke holes (not all the way through) draw pictures or shapes, whatever they want to make it their own. Do not push objects like buttons or play jewels into the clay. Clay shrinks as it dries so any solid object inserted in it, will cause it to crack.

Lay your pots on wax paper to dry. (If you have trouble removing them from the table, run the wire along the bottom to cut them off). It will take a day or two for them to dry completely. Once they are dry, you can paint them with acrylic (not tempera or washable) paints. After the paint has dried, spray them with a clear coat sealant.

These pots have not been fired so you cannot put water in them and they are very fragile, but they work very nicely as little trinket holders and the children are very proud of them.

If you have a local potter who is willing to fire your pots for you in a kiln,  you will need to fire them first, then paint them with a glaze and fire them again.

Any questions? Post them in the comments section and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Crayola Air-Dry Clay - 5 lbs. Crayola Air-Dry Clay - 5 lbs.
Kids will have a blast creating sculptures beads plaques and decorative projects. Smoother and less sticky than traditional clay--perfect for young hands to manipulate. This natural white clay air-dries without baking in an oven or kiln.

Air-Dry Clay - 25 Lbs. Air-Dry Clay - 25 Lbs.
Children will love the tactile experience of modeling keepsakes with this air-dry clay - the clay hardens without being fired in a kiln! Easy to use with traditional modeling techniques such as pinch coil and slab building itÆs also a snap to clean up. Decorate with paints when dry.

Colorations Acrylic Paint 8 oz. - Set of 8 Colorations Acrylic Paint 8 oz. - Set of 8
This set of 8 specially-formulated acrylic craft paint is stellar for small projects. Get amazing one-coat coverage with 8 oz. each of 8 brilliant colors: black blue brown green purple red white and yellow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Pressure to be Perfect

What is a perfect mom? And why do I find myself trying so hard to attain something that is by its very essence unattainable? I place these expectations on myself to do everything and do it perfectly, and feel utterly depressed and dejected when I don’t live up to those expectations. It’s not just me that feels this way. Every mother I know feels intense pressure to be “perfect” but what is perfect, really? It’s a totally subjective term. Every single one of us has our own take on what that means, and at the same time, none of us can possibly live up to it. 

I can’t tell you exactly where it began, maybe with June Cleaver. Who knows? What I do know is that a major contributor to the problem is that these days we simply have too much information, and 90% of it is completely contradictory. 

It all begins even before conception with doctors and the media telling us that we have to take folic acid and can’t drink even a drop of alcohol when trying to conceive.  I can’t tell you how many women I’ve known who beat themselves up their entire pregnancy because they went out and got drunk one night before they knew they were pregnant. Seems silly since, for many of us, that was what got us pregnant in the first place. (Not me, I’m wonderful ) .

Now once you’re pregnant, you have to take prenatal vitamins, except that most of us can’t take the stupid vitamins because they make us sick, so we end up taking children’s vitamins. You can’t take Flintstones, though, because they contain aspartame (which is on the bad list) so you have to pay through the nose for all natural, super vitamins with DHA and choline and folic acid and whatever else they tell you is so important, or your baby might grow a tail and two heads. 

Next, we have to remember to eat healthy – eat more, but not too much. Exercise, but don’t overdo it, and don’t forget to do Kegels or you may be peeing your pants with every cough for the rest of your life (Yeah, right. Thanks for nothing).  Oh and don’t eat lunch meat, sprouts, feta cheese, or 15 different kinds of fish, and definitely no alcohol, coke, caffeine, or diet anything. What you’re eating cheese puffs? That’s it.  Your baby is going to be permanently scarred. And watch out for toxins in absolutely everything because it will all permanently maim your unborn child

This slew of information doesn’t end at birth -  oh no! Once we finally have our beautiful blessings we are confronted with a whole new world of crap to stress over. Not the least of which is breastfeeding. We put so much pressure on ourselves (and each other – Yes I’m talking about you La Leche League) to breastfeed. It’s really insane. It is drilled into our heads that if we don’t breastfeed our kids won’t be as smart or as healthy, and that we are being selfish and lazy moms if we make the excruciating decision not to breastfeed. 

Ahh, but if you do choose to breastfeed, keep yourself covered, huh? I mean, god forbid people see a boob. Or better yet… don’t come out in public for a year. It's not like you're a person, you're a mom.   If you do breastfeed, you should breastfeed for only one year - exactly. If you go over a year, you are a nutcase and your child will develop all sorts of neuroses around your boobs. (I barely passed the one year mark before I started getting, “So are you gonna be breastfeeding her in college?” comments. )

Then there is the sleep training controversy. Some say if you don’t sleep train your child you aren’t teaching them to self sooth, so they will never learn to sleep on their own and will be sleep deprived for eternity. Others will tell you, that by letting your child cry, you are destroying your parent-child bond, and you child will never learn to trust another human being. So really, your screwed either way. And if you do choose to sleep train just so you can get sleep, well then you must be a horribly selfish mother. Because that is our society’s litmus test for being a good mother – selflessness.  

What about the food you feed your baby? What is the best approach? Should you start them at 4 months or 6? Should you give them organic because the news said that baby food had higher concentrations of pesticides than typical fruits and veggies? Or should you make your own, or use a baby-led weaning type of approach?  Or better yet, you could just pre-chew their food and spit into their mouths like little baby birds. (Yes. Alicia Silverstone, you are a freak). What about those ladies who just give their kids plain old Gerber, or even worse, Beach Nut? They mustn’t love their kids nearly as much as the ones who buy Earth's Best, right? 

And as for discipline…. well that’s simple. You just need to strike a balance between giving a child rules and limitations, and allowing them the freedom to make mistakes and be kids. You should never, yell, curse or lose your temper in front of your child, and you definitely shouldn’t  break down in tears in front of them when you’ve had a really bad day and just can’t take it anymore.   That’s right,  suck it up ladies.

Oh and you mustn’t forget to play with them constantly – and enjoy it, dammit – while keeping up with the: cooking, cleaning, laundry, bills, groceries, one billion appointments,  baths, after school activities, homework, library books, and take a shower for goodness sakes. You stink!

Then there’s early childhood education.  It used to be that you just kept your kid alive and healthy and they learned at school, but now we are expected to have taught our children all their letters, numbers, letter sounds, and how to write their name BEFORE they even enter kindergarten. Seriously, could you pile any more crap on top of us. 

Yes, they can. Because one of the biggest and most difficult decisions you will ever have to make as a parent is imminent. Where to send them to school. I mean what if you make the wrong choice and they turn out like one of those morons on Letterman who think there are ten inches in a foot. That’s just unacceptable! 

So here I am only six years into the guilt ridden, self-doubting, stressful and utterly terrifying journey of motherhood. I can’t even imagine what the next  decade will bring, but what I do know is… It scares the living shit out of me.

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