Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

Adventures in Sewing May 13, 2010

Filed under: children,crafts,sewing,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 10:56 am
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Okay, so here are a couple of other things that I sewed recently.  

I tried my hand at an apron. Not too easy. I used a dishtowel apron tutorial from Obsessively Stitching but made a few changes. The first dishtowel that I tried to use was stretching so much that I scratched that project. I tried with another towel and it came out a lot better. I think next time I’ll use seam binding for the sides.

The dishtowels were from Wal-Mart. I’d like to try this again with a couple of modifications. Overall, I thought it was really cute.

I also tried my hand at the friendship bag. The tutorial is from p.s. i quilt. I love this adorable bag and it’s just the right size for a toddler. I want to make more but it is a little time consuming. I hope to make it bigger so that I can use it as a snack bag. I’m showing it next to my daughter’s Hello Kitty shovel so that you can see how tiny this bag really is.

I hope to do more sewing soon. I just need to find more time. I would love to learn how to make my own quilt but that’s for another day.

Happy Sewing!


More Sewing – Crayon Roll March 17, 2010

Filed under: children,crafts,family,sewing,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 3:56 pm
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I recently tried my hand at crayon rolls. There are a ton of tutorials out there. I looked at tutorials from Skip To My Lou and Chocolate On Your Cranium. I decided to go with the tutorial from Skip To My Lou.

Here is the practice one that I made. It was pretty easy. I had a little trouble with the fabric shifting a little while sewing. I think I didn’t use enough pins. It was also a little touch to top stitch since the fabric as so thick, esp. in the corners. Yes, I did clip my corners.  I just sewed really slowly and used my hand crank. (Is that what it’s called? That wheel that’s on the side of your sewing maching?)

Here is the next one I made. It was for a birthday gift.  I know…I know…my sewing was a little crooked on the right hand edge.

Here it is filled with crayons. I’m loving it. It’s pretty fun to make.

Here is the crayon roll all tied up.  I think I’ll make the ribbon a little longer. I’ve seen some crayon rolls with elastic and button closures. I’ve also seen some variations with velcro. I kind of  like the velcro closure for children to open and close it independently.

I used an 8 pack of crayons for my crayon roll. Most tutorials use 16 packs. But for little ones I felt like 8 was enough. My Baby is always losing her crayons so I thought sticking to less means less to handle for them and less to find for us parents.

The crayon roll went with a little drawing pad and some other goodies as part of a birthday present for Baby’s BFF.

I have a bunch more crayon rolls to make. The other one I made I used ric rac on the edge. That wasn’t quite as easy. I’ll post those pics later. Other than that, it’s a pretty simple and fun sewing project.

I’m off now since I hear Baby fussing in her crib…calling “Mommy down!”


Why I’m So Exhausted February 26, 2010

I am exhausted! Let me say it again. I am exhausted!

You would think I had a newborn in the house…no I don’t.  It’s just my Baby. I’m referring to my toddler who refuses to sleep on her own.

For the past week, she has decided that she does not want to sleep without her mommy. Sometimes, even her daddy. This isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, about a month ago, we went through this same thing for almost 2 weeks.

Baby is a good sleeper for the most part. We have a routine for naptime and bedtime. After I read her favorite book, I put her down in her crib and tell her I love her and I say goodnight. Then I leave the room. She is awake when I leave the room and she puts herself to sleep.

Often when I tell people about her sleeping habits, they’re amazed that she can sleep on her own. I was always happy and grateful for that.

Now, I am utterly exhausted and frustrated. I am literally at my wit’s end about what to do and how to handle it.

This is her usual routine now. We still do our same naptime and bedtime routine except that when I put her down in her crib she starts crying and stands up. I still tell her I love her and goodnight then I leave the room. She then continues to cry after I leave. The crying escalates to screams. She calls me and her daddy. She asks us to take her down from her crib. This usually goes on for at least 30 minutes. She may quiet down for a little while, maybe 5 minutes. Then it starts again.

In fact right now, she is crying and screaming, “mommy and daddy”! She has been crying for the last 45 minutes or so. Today she fell asleep on the way home from the store. I put her down in the crib while she was partially awake. (She woke up when I took her out of the car seat). After about an hour, she woke up screaming and crying for me.

So, this may not seem strange but her usual naptime lasts 2-3 hours. Not too mention that she only had a 15 minute nap yesterday because of all this crying and screaming. Last night, she had an interrupted sleep due to her crying and screaming episode that happened about 3 hours into her sleep.

I’ve tried so many things but all have seemed to fail. I guess maybe I should keep a sleep log which I haven’t done. I have tried other techniques from  Dr. Weissbluth’s book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”.

So now what should I do?

  • Keep a sleep log
  • Reread “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, especially the chapter pertinent to my child’s age
  • Search the internet for helpful advice
  • Be patient, persistent, and consistent
  • Pray often!

I think that hardest part will be having patience. With my second child, I seem to be less patient. Maybe it’s because Baby is so different than Princess when it comes to sleep issues. I know people say you shouldn’t compare but it’s so hard since my frame of reference is from my sleep training experience with Princess. Then I again, I have to attribute some of my impatience with my age. I mean now that I’m older (remember closer to 1/2 a century than not) I can’t tolerate lack of sleep as much as I could when I only had 1 child.

So, what’s a middleaged mom to do?



Nemo Is In the House January 15, 2010

Filed under: children,family,food,friends,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 10:00 pm
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Baby recently celebrated a birthday. We decided to get her a Nemo themed cake since we couldnt’ get Minnie Mouse. Actually, it probably turned out better since Baby likes Nemo and one of her favorite field trips is the Aquarium. Here’s the cake. Both Baby and Princess love the little squirt toys on top of the cake.

As it turns out, she got a late Christmas gift that was ocean themed too. It was a Crayola Activity Kit called Undersea Adventures. It’s like a game with an interactive DVD and 3 coloring books and 3 packs of crayons. I’ve never seen it before but it came in handy since Princess decided that she likes that present too.

That same friend gifted Baby with a Nemo Activity Kit from a recent trip to Disneyland. Baby was so excited that she opened it as soon as she got home from visiting with her friend. She has asked me everyday to use that kit. By the way, so has Princess!


Sloppy Joes My Way September 14, 2009

Filed under: children,family,food,moms,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 2:45 pm
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I was recently in the mood for sloppy joes so I searched for some easy recipes online.  Most  of the recipes contain similar ingredients. I finally settled on Rachael Ray’s Super Sloppy Joes. It had good ratings and seemed pretty easy to prepare.

Although I wanted to prepare sloppy joes, I decided that I would use a meat substitute. It’s part of my plan to feed my family some meatless meals at least 1 or 2 times per week. I also knew that I could sneak some veggies into this recipe for my super picky eaters (Princess and Baby)! I also decided to top my sloppy joes off with cheese to make it more appealing to the girls. Cheese is always welcome in my house!

sloppy joes


 Sloppy Joes My Way – Adapted from Rachael Ray


  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ bags of Morningstar Grillers Recipe Starters*
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 Tbsp steak seasoning  (I use 2 tsps. Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I grate it for my picky eaters)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped (I finely chop ½ and grate ½)
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Shredded Cheddar Jack cheese melted on top before serving

 *Original recipe calls for 1 ¼ pounds ground beef sirloin


 Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and cook onions and red peppers until translucent and tender. Add Grillers Recipe Starters. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When heated through, add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook approx. 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large scoop or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted buttered bottoms and cover with bun tops. Top with a generous serving of cheddar jack cheese.


Parents Need a Playgroup Rulebook September 10, 2009

I am sure that I’m not the only mother out there who has experienced “inappropriate” behavior of children and parents while in a playgroup or class.

Some might say I’m overprotective (that’s already confirmed), others may say that it’s because I’m a middleaged mother (not as laid back).

Whatever the reason, I still believe there should be a rulebook for parents and children at every playgroup and class. Maybe it should be given to every parent as soon as they give birth to their child. Then again, you would think that most things are common sense.

So why all the ranting?

Earlier this week, Baby and I were at her music and movement class. The class happened to be blowing bubbles to music. She was standing right in front of me and attempting to blow bubbles. A few seconds into it, a little boy comes right up to us and snatches her bubble wand right out of her hand. Baby was really good about it. She didn’t fuss or cry. I, on the other hand, was a little peeved about it since his mother was sitting on the side chatting with another mother while this happened. I gently removed the bubble wand out of his hand and said, “I’m sorry, she’s using that bubble wand.” Then his mother walks up and tells him, “Don’t take other people’s things. Use your own.” Nice try, mom, but a little too late!

I don’t really want to be the one to “correct” other people’s children. I think their own parents should do it.

In another class that Baby is attending there’s a little girl who constantly pushes other children. She’ll nudge her way in between a child and a toy then push the child away. Last week, Baby happened to be playing by a rocking toy. She was rocking it back and forth with her hands rather than sit on it. The little girl came up to Baby and pushed her hand off the toy. Baby just stared at her. At first I stood by and watched to see what would happen. Then the little girl did it again. This time she did it harder! So I went up to her and said, “Sorry, but she’s playing with it right now.” So, what was her mother doing? Nothing! She was standing right there watching the whole thing and letting her daughter push my daughter, TWICE! What’s wrong with that picture?

Okay, it’s not only the child’s behavior but the parent’s behavior (or lack of) that is so bewildering.  It even happens with grandparents.

At the same music and movement class, Baby was getting ready to put away her bubble blower when the teacher started collecting them. She went up to give it back but the teacher walked away in the opposite direction so Baby came back to me. I told her to wait patiently and go back up. Just then a grandmother comes right up to us and grabs the bubble blower out of Baby’s hand. She didn’t say a word…she just grabbed it. I quickly grabbed her arm and nicely said, “Oh, she can put it away by herself.” So she smiled and gave it back to Baby. OH MY GOSH! All the other children are putting the bubble blowers away by themselves. Why would she grab Baby’s and do it for her? She has her OWN grandchild to worry about, why does she need to worry about my child? I know that some of you are thinking that she was just trying to help. If that’s the case, why didn’t see ask first?

Another time in a class, the teacher happened to be reading a story to the children and using the flannel board. She gave all the children an animal to put up on the flannel board when their animal came up in the story. During the story, a little girl went up to a couple of the children and took the animals right out of their hands. They never had a turn to go up to the board because the little girl wanted to do it for them! Her mother didn’t stand up to stop her. She did tell her not to do it and even told her to give it back to the other children. Did she listen? NO! That’s it…nothing else from the mother.

 As a parent, I try very hard to be considerate of other children and parents. Usually, I don’t touch any child without asking first. Once when we were playing with the parachute a little boy was sitting in a dangerous place, so before I moved him I asked his mom is she wanted me to move him. She gave me permission to do so. Or if Baby happens to want to play with something that someone else is already using, I tell her that she needs to find something else to use until it’s her turn. She has been really good about not taking things away from other children, except her sister.

So, I’m proposing a universal rule book for every child and parent. Well, maybe it should just be for parents.

Let’s start with…

Rule #1 – Please oversee your child at all times! (Don’t sit on the side chatting with our friend while your child steals something from someone else!)

Rule #2 – Please discipline your child when he/she uses inappropriate physical behavior, like pushing and shoving!

Rule #3 – Assist another child (that’s not your own relative) if you’re asked to assist or given permission, unless safety is an issue.

How’s that for starters? I could go on and on with more examples and rules.

What about you? What would you add to the Rulebook?


From Your Lips…But Not to My Ears August 27, 2009

Filed under: children,dad,family,moms,sign language,sisters,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 12:21 am

One of the first words that ever came out of my children’s mouths was “daddy”! Yes, they love their daddy!

I wonder why it is that “daddy” is so easy for them to say. Okay, I’m not a linguist or a speech pathologist so I don’t know the little intricacies of how the mouth, tongue, etc work when it comes to speech and language.

But from my point of view, the point of view of a stay at home mom, why can’t they learn to say “mommy” first? Let’s get real here. Am I not the one who bonded with them from the very beginning. The one who spoke to them and sang to them when they were still in my womb. The one who breastfed them for over a year of their lives. The one who spent endless hours carrying them to soothe them and help them get to sleep. The one who spends 24 hours a day 7 days a week taking care of them. The one who takes them to music class, art class, and other fun activities.

I’m starting to feel taken for granted! Not really. But I am still waiting to hear Baby say the word “mommy”.

Tonight I had to go out to visit a girlfriend’s father in the hospital.  When I left the house, Baby was crying and very upset. Mr. MaD said she kept crying most of the night and she kept walking to the front door. Poor thing!

Although her crying made my heart sink, that’s not the worst of it. Mr. MaD informed me that Baby was signing “mommy” and saying “mommy”  while crying. She even did it more than once!

I couldn’t believe it! I said to Mr. MaD, “She was saying mommy?” He replied, “Yes, and signing it too.”

I have never heard her say “mommy” or seen her sign “mommy” once to my face.  I have heard her say “maa…maa”  a few times while crying in her crib for me to take her out. But that only happened a few times. 

 Why is it that she can say “mommy” and sign “mommy” when I’m not around?  I will surely be celebrating when I hear those long awaited words come out of her mouth.

Tell me about your experience. Did your child say “daddy” or “mommy” first?