Craft time: hand imprint

A creative piece of history

I made a hand imprint with my mom a million and twelve years ago. The vivid memory of creating a piece of my personal history is remembered fondly. I passed the experience on to Patience, and she loved it. I hope she remembers it a million and twelve years later just as fondly.

First, you need to get a hold of some clay. Sure enough there is a site ClayRecipe.net Really that’s all you need, that and your kiddo’s hand, preferably attached to kiddo (drum roll!)

Roll the clay out (we did so on a paper plate that also served as a frame) and make an imprint – voila! You can get as fancy as you like. My siblings painted theirs back in the day and left it at that. Mine had awesome buttons.

I dumped out my craft supply box and Patience went wild. After painting the clay and plate, she covered the piece  with stickers, ribbon, buttons, glitter and those plastic thingies that come on hair ties that the brat always rips off. Some googly eyes made it on there too. This craft is ultimate to use up the odds and ends of things.

I put some varnish on it once everything else dried. It makes the print stick out from beneath the glitter, but warped the paper plate frame a bit.

I found a kit at Chapters one day and used that to be honest. It came with a pretty tin you could store the work in as well as a plastic display holder thing. It was about $20, but it isn’t a necessity, just something that was in the right place at the right time when my nostalgic mind and Chapters gift card holding fingers came across it.

This will be fun for your crafty lil one to make, but a drag for them later when it is put away or on display with the message, “Don’t touch.” Whatever you were the one who made the hand that was printed anyway.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

“Do you even know the father?”

So, people say stupid shit.

On my way home from a therapist session a fellow bus passenger commented on the fabulousness of my daughter- obviously. He shared that he too was the parent of a three-year-old girl.

He then asked, “Do you let her father be in her life?” I never mentioned I wasn’t with her father. He, as far as I know, does not know her father. And custody agreements aren’t an organic conversation topic shift from, “My kid really likes Elmo.”

I’m a pretty open person, and maybe it’s obvious, because this is not the first time I’ve been asked this question. And it was not the last. I’ve been asked this since I was pregnant. The first time was on the bus. After looking at my wicked cool baby bump a woman asked me if I even knew who the father was. I waved my left hand, trying to nonchalantly show my engagement ring. I replied yes, following up with our wedding date. I wish I didn’t do that. What that woman asked was presumptuous and rude. By answering I was validating the fact that I was “responsible” and “not like that.”

I didn’t end up getting married; I called it off two weeks before we were scheduled to be man and wife. So look at me, I am like that; and pretty too.

She seems pretty content to me despite this “only” being her grandpa (and not even her biological one- ahhh!)

Yes court dates and intense therapy sessions later, Patience’s dad is a part of her life. She visits him every second weekend. If she asks to call him, I dial his number for her. She makes him birthday cards and he is on our Christmas card list.

The court dates mentioned were not petty “I just don’t like him”. They were because of his violent past behaviours. I know, and knew, I was right to be cautious. So how did these strangers manage to make me doubt  myself?

Patience has plenty of male role models, which a past therapist so kindly pointed out (I swear this post isn’t sponsored by Therapy Inc.). She is best friends with her uncle; despite the 26-year age gap, they seem to have a lot in common.

UNCLE JASON AND PATIENCE: Taking a break from Teletoon Retro and Ninja Turtles video games

Fathers are obviously important. Or I should say good fathers. I don’t see my biological father and thank heavens for that, when I did he did more damage than good, if any. Children need happy, healthy, responsible, loving people in their life, not dangerous people based on DNA.

Sorry to debunk another “Why single mothers are the devil” theory, folks.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Alphabutt

220px-AlphabuttI actually hate gross body function related things. But P loves them and this CD her aunt bought her for her first birthday.

Alphabutt is by Kimya Dawson, largely know for being in The Moldy Peaches. The CD is inspired by her daughter, Panda, who is on the CD too. The songs are short and catchy, Patience think’s they’re hilarious. The case is cardboard which is better than plastic to step on when facing a messy kid’s floor. There’s a cute poster included for your lil one to colour.

P’s top pick: Little Monster Babies.

Bobby-O is close second  for screaming purposes.

The album was released in 2008

Track listings

  1. “Little Monster Babies” – 1:26
  2. “Alphabutt” – 0:55
  3. “Bobby-O” – 1:50
  4. “Louie” – 2:13
  5. “Smoothie” – 2:12
  6. “I Like Bears” – 1:09
  7. “Seven Hungry Tigers” – 1:59
  8. “Happy Home (Keep On Writing)” – 3:34
  9. “Wiggle My Tooth” – 1:37
  10. “I Love You Sweet Baby” – 2:02
  11. “Pee-Pee in the Potty” – 0:29
  12. “Uncle Hukee’s House” – 0:54
  13. “We’re All Animals” – 2:22
  14. “Little Panda Bear” – 1:00
  15. “Sunbeams and Some Beans” – 3:45

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

My three-year-old frequents tanning beds; of course she doesn’t!

Leafing through a parenting magazine at the doctor’s office the word, “jaundice” jumped at me from the print. Why was this word tickling my memory? Oh ya! Because people would stop and ask me if my daughter had jaundice.

I would say “no,” brows rose over curious eyes.

They, the many strangers who we would pass while walking and enjoying the days of the summer of 2008, would press on, why was her skin yellow-like?

I’d explain that we were part Italian and though my daughter and I practice safe sun (hats, sunglasses, sunscreen) we tan as soon as we come across a sunbeam. I thought us to be more olive than yellow. It was melanin that brought colour to our skin, not bilirubin.

Yet this explanation was not enough for many. They insisted I must take her tanning to get to be that colour. I was often at a loss, I figured they’d notice I too was an olive colour, that they’d surely realize that Patience and I shared genetics.

“Save me! Save me!”

Was I really a bad mother for taking my daughter outside on beautiful sunny days? Some thought so, though I was not the one stopping to ask, they felt compelled to come to me, to scold me from not efficiently protecting my baby from her DNA.

A healthy baby.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

The Breastfeeding Club

Awesome boobs.

People lose their minds over breastfeeding.

I breastfed Patience for a year. I had awesome boobs and my greedy-guts child had no problems whatsoever latching.

I am lucky because I’ve heard horror stories about babies not latching or milk not producing. That is one extra stress I am grateful to have missed.

I didn’t go out much once Patience was born for a few reasons. One, I have social anxiety and had used up all my party energy while in my teens. Another being I had no one in my life at that time that was trustworthy enough to watch another human being. The company we kept would have traded her for magic beans.

When I did decide to go out it broke my heart. I put a lot of planning into it. Though she was gone for less than twelve hours, all of which she slept, the entire evening and week prior I was a mess.

Having little to no family support, and no friends who had yet entered the realm of parenthood, I turned to the Internet.

It was the internet that explained to me the different pregnancy stages and what to expect of a newborn. The Internet that found me awesome deals and freebies, surely, the Internet would be there for me now.

It was not.

All I asked was if I stored my milk properly.

I received hundreds of judgmental words regarding “abandoning” my child. My baby would grow up unloved; our bond would be permanently broken. I was a horrible mother. These were very unpleasant things to read, from what I thought was my support group.

One – ONE – lovely woman came to my rescue. Not only did she tell the mean ladies behind the computer monitor to back off but shared with me the story of her flight attendant mother.

Her mother would leave for weeks at a time. Not only did the woman grow up adjusted, but maintained a healthy loving relationship with both her mother and her own children.

It seems some moms will find any reason to one up the other.

I never did find out if the milk was stored properly.

**Update**

I pumped the milk and stored it into these snazzy ziplock type bags that had the measurement on them. I then wrote the date on them and froze the milk. Just in case you were wondering :p I forget how long it could last in there but kidshealth.org has storing info.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Breaking the Good Mom Myth: review

“Every Modern Mom’s Guide to Getting Past Perfection, Regaining Sanity, and Raising Great Kids”

At first, looking through the parenting section at the library ended in boring results. I was getting worried that parenting education was reserved for anyone but me and I could no longer provide you misfits with more book reviews.

Breaking the Good Mom Myth caught my eye. As you can see, it has a snazzy cover, and the words inside the book are just as snazzy – score!

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and host of The Parenting Show, so she has the credentials. Her writing style is easy reading full of humour and intelligence.

This book addresses the stress put on mothers to no only be the perfect mom but perfect woman. The woman who can have the perfect career, plan the perfect meals, create the perfect science fair project, have the perfect attitude, perfect body, be the perfect housewife … perfect perfect PERFECT!

It’s pretty fucking stressful to be perfect. It’s even stressful to read the list of things that require such perfection. Thank Bowie the issue has been addressed. Thank Bowie that this book suggests that, maybe, we don’t need to be perfect. That perfection is unhealthy thus cancelling out said perfection. And I thought I sucked at math :p

You don’t need to agree with everything but it is nice to have 200 pages that let you know you’re not alone.

Chapters discuss the importance of self care, marriage, “My Children Are a Reflection of Me”, control, sibling conflict, education, how even being “fun” can be stressful and nurturing.

This is Schafer’s first book, she is also the author of Honey, I Wrecked the Kids and Ain’t Misbehavin’: Tactics for Tantrums, Meltdowns, Bedtime Blues and Other Perfectly Normal Kid Behaviors.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com