Blog Posts by The_Stir

  • 6 reasons mama needs a Duncan Hines Brownie Husband

    On SNL this weekend, Tina Fey reminded me about something that's been missing in my life, that certain something, or shall I say, certain someone I've been longing for all along -- a Duncan Hines Brownie Husband.

    More from The Stir: Tina Fey a Mean Girl on SNL?

    6 Reasons Mama Needs a Brownie Husband:

    1. He's HOT.
    2. He never needs a shower, just a microwave.
    3. I won't mind cleaning up after my Brownie Husband (especially the crumbs he leaves in bed! mmmmm...).
    4. He gets baked alright, but he doesn't slur in front of the kids or fall asleep on the couch.
    5. Think about the weekends with this big hunk, OH GOD YES YES YES, the Brownie Husband Sundaes...
    6. Because late at night, when I'm tired and the work day has been long and the evening with the kids even longer, there's nothing I'd rather do that make out with a chocolate brownie man and French kiss his caramel-oozing mouth. That's right. I said it.

    Why do you need a Brownie Husband? C'mon, I know you want

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  • No More "Big Girl"

    My daughter is two years old so we're crossing over into a whole new world of abilities. We're heading into Big Girl territory.

    Big Girls use the potty. Big Girls don't eat with their hands. Big Girls sleep in their cribs all night long and don't wake up mommy and daddy. Don't you want to be a Big Girl?

    It's come out of my mouth. Not often, but still, I wish I could eat those words.

    I hate Big Girl.

    Big Girls don't need blankies. Big Girls aren't afraid of the dark. Big Girls can stay at school all day without mama.

    More from The Stir: 3 Day Potty Training

    Translation: "Honey, let me take away all those things that give you comfort. Let me shame you for not doing things 'experts' say you 'should' be doing now. Let me help you lose your innocence as fast as I can."

    Then ... BAM! Once I have her right where I want her, I'll start saying things like:

    Only Big Girls can shave their legs. Only Big Girls wear lipstick. Only Big Girls are allowed to go to PG

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  • No School Vacations for Special Needs Kids?

    Excuse me if I seem a little ashen-faced and shaky -- I just survived the world's longest preschooler spring break in the history of ever. TWO SCHOOLS, I send my kid to, and thanks to non-concurrent break times and extra administrative days and other slightly weird scheduling hiccups, it was a full TWO WEEKS before my kid actually had a day where he attended both of them.

    And oh, it showed.

    And not just in the "he's bored and missing his friends and messing up my schedule" sort of way. After just a few extra days off, he genuinely seemed to struggle with behaviors and tics we thought were things of the past.

    I'm aware, as a special-needs parent, that I often make it sound like I'm parenting a plastic sailboat bobbing in the bathtub -- the slightest splash or ripple can capsize it, much like the slightest change in Noah's routine or a little Red 40/Yellow 5 in a juice box can send him into a behavioral meltdown. I'm aware I sound like (at best) I'm grasping at straws or (at

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  • Mom Confessions: I'm Not a Volunteer-y Mom

    Flickr photo by Kenneth HynekFlickr photo by Kenneth HynekIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

    This Week's Confession:

    My four-year-old is involved in all kinds of activities. But whenever there's a bake sale or a clean up the tot park day or a kids' clothing drive, I never participate. I know the other moms talk about me behind my back, but I'm paying for my daughter's activities, and just because I'm a stay at home mom, doesn't mean I don't have a lot of other s--- to do. -- anonymous

    We all have secrets -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgmental!

    Do you think all moms have an obligation to pitch in and volunteer for things related to their kid's activities? Take our poll.

    Review our poll results.

    Written by Suzanne Murray for The Stir, a CafeMom blog

    More from The Stir: I Don't Want a Play Date with Your Nanny

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  • How Jamie Oliver Slapped That Food Snob Mom Look Off My Face

    Photo from ABCPhoto from ABCJamie Oliver's Food Revolution -- yep, hubs and I are obsessed like the rest of the world. We're longtime followers of Jamie and own most his cookbooks.

    Of course, if I'm honest about why I'm watching the show, I think I wanted to watch it just to prove to myself what we've been doing "right" in terms of food choices (hey, mama needs a little "feel good" for herself sometimes!).

    More from The Stir: Hot Dad Jamie Oliver Tells Us About His "Food Revolution"

    How extremely righteous, privileged, and snobby of me, huh?

    Well, food snobby as I wanted to think we are, my kids aren't exactly passing Jamie's good nutrition tests either.

    We don't do school lunches, we rarely eat fast food, we get a farm box delivered to our house, we buy organic whenever we can, oh, and we only buy our chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and pizza at Trader Joe's. As parents, I thought we pretty much had this thing tapped -- or surely, we're way ahead of the rest of the world, right?


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  • Is Modified Corn Starch Bad For You?

    The words modified corn starch on the back of my yogurt container jumped out at me.

    High fructose corn syrup has made us all highly aware of anything that contains the word "corn," and I'm amping up my yogurt to improve my health -- not pack on the pounds! So I asked Erin Palinski, a registered dietitian: is modified corn starch bad for you?

    More from The Stir: 6 Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

    Here's what she had to say:

    What is modified corn starch?

    Modified corn starch is a food additive which is created by treating starch, causing the starch to be partially degraded. Modified corn starch can be used as a stabilizer, thickening agent, or an emulsifier. Starches may be modified to change texture of a food, increase their stability, decrease viscosity, or to lengthen or shorten gelatinization time.

    More from The Stir: Strawberries for Breakfast - 2 Easy Ways

    Is it bad for you?

    There does not appear to be any research indicating that modified corn starch is

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  • Spring Trend Alert: How to Wear the Jumper

    Springtime makes me want to go strapless and pretend I'm in grade school again. That's why the jumper is so popular this time of year. Whoo! Naked and at the playground!!

    But there are a few things you need to remember before baring your shoulders and putting on a onesie.

    More from The Stir: How to Wear It: Denim Blazer

    1) A good bra is crucial when you're going strapless. Unless you're one of those perky small-breasted ladies (and if so, phhhpt) you want to find a bra that lifts and separates so you can avoid the uniboob.

    2) Accessorize. Whether it's a fat belt or a summer scarf, the jumper consists of very little material. You need to dress it up to make the outfit complete.

    3) Exfoliate and hydrate those shoulders and your chest. Instead of smacking on the moisturizer per usual, spend some extra time on the area that will be bare.

    4) Shave the extra mile. When the short-shorts come out, the razor should head north. You don't want to look down at your thighs

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  • Prom Faked for Lesbian Student

    Constance McMillen thought she'd finally won the right to take her girlfriend to her high school prom -- only to show up and find out she'd been duped.

    The Mississippi teen who made news recently for standing up to a high school administration that decided to cancel the prom rather than allow her to wear a tux and invite her girlfriend told The Advocate she was sent to a "fake prom."

    Way to go Itawamba, Mississippi! You've just reminded me why I'm relieved to have escaped high school with my sense of self . . . and terrified of the day my daughter will enter it.

    School officials have acted like children from the beginning of this ridiculous venture, from the original edict that girls can't wear tuxes and students must attend the dance with a partner of the opposite sex.

    But this topper smacks of a high school prank -- the sort members of a football team would be benched for or the cheerleading squad made to clean the bleachers over.

    It's the sort of thing I'm trying

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  • 5 Recipes For Those Leftover Easter Eggs

    Got a bunch of hard boiled eggs leftover from your Easter festivities? Trust me: This is a good thing! Here are five recipes you can make with yesterday's egg stash. (Now, the annoying plastic eggs? Sorry, but you're on your own with those.)

    According to the USDA, hard boiled eggs (in their shells) can be kept for about a week in the fridge. That's plenty of time to make one of these great recipes:

    1. Egg Salad Sandwich: Combine mashed eggs with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. I also like to add a dash of hot sauce or some fresh dill for that something extra.
    2. Classic Cobb Salad: Arrange rows of chopped eggs, avocado, bacon, tomatoes, green onions, and crumbled blue cheese on a bed of mixed greens. Toss in favorite vinaigrette dressing.
    3. Deviled Eggs: Everyone has their own version of stuffed eggs. My favorite Deviled Egg recipe calls for mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Tabasco, paprika, and fresh chives -- yum! Or try a lighter version of deviled eggs if
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  • Breastfeeding My Toddler - This Wasn't My Plan!

    Before I was a mom, I'd visit my friend who was still nursing her then three-year-old, and exchange knowing eye-rolls with the other adults in the room. "That's absurd!" I'd say to my husband the second we left her house. "That child has a full set of teeth .. she could be eating steak!"

    Fast-forward three years. Judgmental mom (note my raised hand) is still breastfeeding her two-year-old. Watch those eye-rolls, ladies. Been there, done that.

    I didn't plan to breastfeed for this long, but if there's one thing I've learned in the past two years, it's that kids and plans don't always mesh.

    When I was pregnant, I figured I'd breastfeed my baby for three months. That's how long my mom breastfed me. That's what I knew. My mom didn't breastfeed my sisters -- it was looked down upon in those days. In our neck of the woods, only barbarians and those who couldn't afford formula would even consider breastfeeding. But the pendulum swung, and when I was born, nursing was in vogue. Lucky

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