Issue 9, September 2013
Mom to Mom of Maine is an organization of diverse mothers devoted to helping each other and the community by sharing support, knowledge, and activities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Board Notes RMH Meal Member Profile DIY/Crafts Activities & Events Calendar Member Contacts
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Board Notes By Elise Richer
Living in Maine means you catch up with people in the summertime. Family and friends appear from out of the woodwork to take advantage of your presence in Vacationland, with visits ranging from delightful to atrocious. Last year we hosted friends with two young sons. Seemed like a perfect fit with our kids. By the end of five days, however, our boys were refusing to sit at the same dinner table with the guests. They claimed the visiting boys chewed with their mouths open and it was too gross to sit near them. I’m not saying they didn’t have a a point, but it was nonetheless unpleasant.
This August my mom had some old friends from childhood over for a nice summer cookout. A few years ago I officially entered the “sandwich” generation, where many of my friends and I are smushed between caring for young children and caring for old parents. Such was the case at this cookout, where my two overtired, overstimulated boys (can you see where this is going?) were joined by my friend P.’s father, who has suffered several strokes and currently is hard of hearing and slightly confused, and needs a walker to get around. I’ll give this fellow the alias of Hank.
MOTHERMATTERS September 2013
Hank is a great guy. I spent weeks at his home as a kid including many summer vacations. My father always thought Hank was a bit of a blowhard, and P. chafed against his bossiness, but to me Hank was always kind, thoughtful, and funny. I have very fond memories of him. To my knowledge, I never had any kind of argument or quarrel with him. The other night, however, he was quite trying. Hank spent the whole evening (and I swear I’m not exaggerating) complaining about my kids’ behavior and my parenting style. He complained when my kids ran around the deck and made noise. He complained when I put one in time out (apparently he thought it was the wrong one who was being punished). He complained about the practice of time outs (not severe enough? too severe? who knows). He wondered, repeatedly, whether my kids were behaving “that way” because they didn’t get enough attention or because they got too much. And so on. Fortunately I was sitting across the table from him, and due to his stroke, his voice is fairly soft. It was my friend P. who got the brunt of Hank’s running commentary. Every few minutes I could hear my friend demurring to Hank. “Well, I don’t think they’re being naughty.... I think they’re just being little kids.... Let’s worry about something else....” P. displayed far more patience than I would have if I had had to listen to Hank’s complaints all night, even if the complaints hadn’t been about my own kids, which just made it all the more annoying. Every silver lining has its cloud, of course. You can’t live somewhere as beautiful as Maine in the summer
Ronald McDonald House Meal By Elise Richer
without getting your share of unpleasant visitors. (Some people might say we already pay our dues by living through February and March, but I guess that’s not payment enough.) Thus, I’m not completely sad that summer is ending. I’m ready for a break from the stream of summer visitors. I’m happy my kids are heading back to school for at least six hours a day (woo hoo!). I’m looking forward to our Mom to Mom activities returning from the slight summer chaos and into a more organized routine. The open playgroups at Riverton will be starting back up in Portland. The Board reconvenes after a month off (we never meet in August--it’s impossible to get a quorum!). Planning for the Halloween Party gets going. The new Arts & Crafts subgroup is (finally!) going to have another meet up. If there’s something YOU think Mom to Mom should be busy doing, please remember, we are a MEMBER RUN organization. September is a great time to put forward your ideas for new groups, new projects, new meetings. September is when the Jewish calendar starts anew; it’s actually a pretty smart time to start the new year, if you think about it. One Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) custom is to dip apples in honey to augur a sweet year. Add some sweetness to your life and your fellow moms’ by getting Mom to Mom off to a great September with some new energy and new ideas. Board members are always looking for more input, especially when it is accompanied by a willingness to carry out the new plans. Just don’t advise me which of my kids needs a time out. That’s input I can’t use.
CARE COMMITTEE Mom to Mom members care about each other and want to help provide support to fellow members in times of need.
One of Mom to Mom’s ongoing community outreach projects is to provide dinner for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House on the third Wednesday of every month. Thank you so much to all of the members who donate their time and cooking talents for this great cause. The August meal was generously provided by Laura Rancourt, Tracy Johnson Zager, Karli Efron, Laura Crockett, Winnie Paulino, and Jessica Evans.
If you just brought home a new baby (or have a baby in the NICU), are dealing with hospitalization or surgery, or have had a serious accident, illness or death in your immediate family, please contact the Mom to Mom Care Committee [firstname.lastname@example.org].
If you would like to volunteer to help provide a meal, please contact Elise Richer at email@example.com.
The Care Committee coordinates delivery of meals to your family so that cooking is one less thing you have to worry about. Don’t feel like you have to bear the burden alone—we are here for you!
To assist the Ronald McDonald House in other ways or for more information, please visit their website.
MOTHERMATTERS September 2013
M2M Member Profile Erin Falk By: Elise Richer
Erin Falk is our member this month. Does her name ring a bell? Probably because she’s the person who edits this newsletter!! Erin has been a Mom to Mom member for a year now, and we are thrilled that during that time she has stepped up to do the newsletter in such a professional manner. She and her husband Chris live in Falmouth with their toddler Sully, who will never be able to go to South Boston without hearing his name called out a dozen times by sheer coincidence. Erin has been a stay-at-home mom with Sullivan for the past year, enjoying it thoroughly. She tells me she has also really liked “meeting” the various members through their newsletter articles and profiles, so I hope you all enjoy meeting her right back. How has being involved with M2M made a difference in your life or your child's lives? I haven’t had a chance to get out to as many M2M events as I would like; I am looking forward to doing that this year! From the “inside” I am really enjoying the creative outlet that the newsletter is providing me. Editing is a nice connection to the professional side of myself. I also love reading the forums! It’s a really nice connection to other moms’ experiences. What are some of your hobbies or interests? I enjoy reading (pretty much everything!), cooking (I am obsessed with epicurious.com, Fine Cooking magazine and Pinterest), gardening (though it can be a love/hate relationship) and being crafty (right now I am tackling a quilt but the sun keeps distracting me!). I have also been a beekeeper for about 5 years – though I took a brief hiatus this year! I’ll be back at it next spring! If money/child care were no object, what would you like to be doing December 31st, 2013? Living abroad. It’s something my husband and I have talked about but haven’t figured out yet!
What is the best book you’ve read recently? Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. I definitely read a lot less than I used to – sleep is so appealing now at night – but this book reminded me what I love about it. It is a lovely story with vivid characters and worldly message, that plopped me in the middle of Appalachia instead of my pillow. What is one thing that most people don’t know about you? I love singing! I used to do a lot of musical theater in school and in the community. Growing up my mom used to play Broadway show recordings on long drives, explaining the story lines to my sisters and me as we drove. I think I could still sing my way through most of those shows. I’m hoping to get back into it at some point soon!
CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS We are always looking for editorial contributions for the Mother Matters newsletter. Our members are what make this organization so wonderful, and we want to hear your stories! We are also seeking feature articles on general topics. You don’t have to commit to writing a monthly column; you could do one-off short story (fiction or nonfiction), a quarterly book/movie/concert review, a travel piece inspired by your last vacation... whatever you’re interested in, please share it! The deadline for newsletter submissions is the 21st of the month. Please contact the Newsletter Editor [firstname.lastname@example.org] for more information or to volunteer.
MOTHERMATTERS September 2013
Crossetti’s Craft Corner Candle Making By Marla and Reichen Crossetti
This month has been busy, between camps, vacations and more camps, there has not been much down time. I am sure some of you can relate. Last week we went camping for the first time. There were a ton of craft activities for the boys to do. And wouldn’t you know it, candle making was one of them. Which, by chance, was exactly what I was going to try with the boys this month but time escaped me. This is what you will need. • • • • • • • •
popsicle sticks candle wicks scissors candle wax (Paraffin) about ½ pound or more broken crayons no paper coffee cans cold water oven
1. Cut wax into small pieces. Bring a pot(s) of water to a gentle boil, place wax in coffee can (with the label removed). Place coffee can with wax in boiling water. Stir until melted, turn heat down but keep water warm so wax does not harden. You can do this several times for different colors that you may want to use. 2. Add crayon pieces for color. The camp had blue, orange, purple, red, brown. You can do as many as you want. Melt crayon pieces; add as many as it takes to get to the desired color. 3. Trim off a foot of wick. Tie one end twice around the middle of the Popsicle stick. 4. Dip the end of the candle wick into wax by holding the ends of the Popsicle stick with both hands. 5. Dip the candle wick in cold water (dip wick in cold water after each time you dip in wax) 6. Continue dipping in different colors until desired thickness of candle is achieved. Remember to dip in cold water after each wax dip. 7. When done, cut the Popsicle stick off. Voila, you have a handmade candle! I will say this is a messy craft, but fun. Glad I did not have to clean up!
ADVERTISING Advertising is available in this newsletter with rates starting at $25 for members and nonprofits, $35 for non-members. Quarter-page, half-page and full-page ad space is available. Please contact the Newsletter Editor [email@example.com] with advertising requests, or for more information.
Mom to Mom Activities and Events Calendar Now it’s even easier to RSVP to Mom to Mom events! Just click on the event you want to attend in the calendar below, and you will be taken directly to the BigTent page for that event. Remember to RSVP to each event you plan to attend in order to get updates of possible event changes. Also, don’t forget to consult the Going On Around Town (“GOAT”) group calendar on BigTent for events happening all over Maine. If you know of any family-friendly events, please feel free to add them to the GOAT calendar.
Board Meeting 7pm
17 Ronald MacDonald House Meal
OFFICERS Co-Leaders: Alysia Phillips, firstname.lastname@example.org and Melanie Bond, email@example.com Treasurer: Theresa Lacadie, firstname.lastname@example.org BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jessica Anderson, Melanie Bond, Jen Castonguay, Chenango Coutts, Marla Crossetti, Theresa Lacadie, Myranda McGowan, Alysia Phillips, Elise Richer, Emily Wright We are always seeking board members; if you would like to join the M2M Board, please contact one of the Co-Leaders for an application. INFORMATION EXCHANGE New Member Coordinator: Prudence Jones, email@example.com Publicity Coordinator: Emily Wright Website/BigTent Coordinator: Lisa Pelton, firstname.lastname@example.org (OPEN as of 9/1/13) Member Profiles: Elise Richer, email@example.com Newsletter Editor: Erin Falk, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Coordinator: Myranda McGowan VOLUNTEERING/OUTREACH Community Outreach: Elise Richer, email@example.com Care Committee: OPEN, interim: Alysia Philips, firstname.lastname@example.org ACTIVITY & EVENT COORDINATORS Calendar: Marla Crossetti, email@example.com Member Coffee: Jessica Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org Field Trips/Weekend Family Outings: Jen Castonguay, email@example.com Fundraising: Chenango Coutts, firstname.lastname@example.org Going On Around Town (GOAT): Andrea Cole, email@example.com Happy Healthy Family Workshop Series: Kristy Blaquiere Playgroups: Jessica Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org Momâ€™s Night Out: Elissa Nauman, email@example.com SUBGROUP MODERATORS Allergy/Asthma: Sara Yates, firstname.lastname@example.org Arts & Crafts: Melanie Bond email@example.com & Jenique Tairne firstname.lastname@example.org, Elise Richer, email@example.com Connection Parenting: Sarah MacLaughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org Developmental Issues: Gail Meyer, email@example.com Entrepreneurs: Lisa Pelton, firstname.lastname@example.org Exploring Nature with Kids: Tracy Zager, email@example.com & Renee Kramer, firstname.lastname@example.org Green Living: Cheryl Denis, email@example.com Health and Fitness: Alonna Pitreau, firstname.lastname@example.org In The Kitchen: Catherine Stine, email@example.com Kâ€“12th Grade: Natalie Haskell, firstname.lastname@example.org Moms of Babies: Jenique Tairne, email@example.com Older Moms: Cheryl Denis, firstname.lastname@example.org Political Discussion: Whitney Letellier, Amie Moore, and Cheryl Denis, email@example.com Professionals: Emily Wright Newsletter Submissions: Mom to Mom encourages members to submit stories, personal experiences, and photos of M2M events. Submissions are subject to editorial approval and space limitations. Contact the Newsletter Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Member Coffee: The perfect opportunity for kids to play while moms socialize with other moms. Contact Jessica Anderson at email@example.com to volunteer as a host. Ronald McDonald House Meals: Share your cooking talents and spread good cheer with a meal for the guests at the Ronald McDonald House near Maine Medical Center in Portland. To volunteer, contact Community Outreach Coordinator Elise Richer at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views represented in the newsletter are not necessarily the views of Mom to Mom of Maine.