Tag Archives: Family

Holiday Gift Exchange Idea for the Mom with a Tight Budget

Family Christmas gift exchange idea

Single mommies have tight budgets.  I know how it is.  You wish you could get a gift for every member of your family, but your budget doesn’t allow it, so you decide christmas presents only for the kids this year. 

Believe it or not, big kids aka “adults” also look forward to opening christmas presents on christmas morning…I know I do.  Why disappoint them this year?  

I have a large family. A few years back we discovered a great way to make sure every big kid in our family receives at least ONE gift by using Elfster.com.  Elfster is a free website that simplifies gift giving in more ways then one.  It’s fun and easy to use. 

The steps are simple.  First, create a group that includes all the people who would be participating in the gift exchange.  They will receive an email invitation asking them to accept.  Then, schedule a date when names will be drawn.  Elfter.com will draw the names automatically on the date you scheduled.  Each participant will receive an email with the name that was drawn for them and the gift buying process may begin.

Elfster is the perfect holiday entertaining game for friends and families, office parties and communities!  Its features include:

+ Universal wishlists

+ Anonymous Q&A (think “what is your favorite color?”)

+ Personalized gift recommendations

+ Activity updates, or “exchange feed”

+ Group discussions, and more.

 Make that “Big kid” in your family happy this year and start an online gift exchange, but remember to keep your secret Santa identity a secret!


Single Mommingly Yours, M


A child’s pain is his mother’s pain

This weekend I discovered what they mean when they say “a child’s pain is his mother’s pain.”

My little Mason had a terrible case of constipation this weekend. The first sign of it was on Friday. I’ve now labeled myself a bad mommy for not having done something immediately to correct the problem. I guess I thought it would get better on its own.

I got home earlier than usual on Friday to the sounds of his horrific painful cries. My mother was in the bathroom with him. He was sitting in his little Disney Cars potty chair. His diaper off. His eyes filled with tears as he strained to relieve himself. My mom tried to comfort him. By the time I arrived, he was just finishing up. “He’s constipated.” My mom said to me. I did nothing.

Late afternoon on Saturday, after attending a 1 year birthday party, I took Mason to his uncle’s (my brother)house. We ended up spending the weekend there. I noticed Mason had the “I’m pooping” face on a few times throughout the evening but every time I checked his diaper, he was clean. He didn’t poop on Saturday and by Sunday, it was time to let the sucker out. This was easier said than done. Mason tried for a full hour before he was finally succesful. My poor baby was in so much pain. He cried and pushed, cried and pushed but nothing would happen. I took off his diaper and sat in the tub with him, hoping the running water would calm him a bit.

The pain in his eyes was unbearable and I felt useless. There was nothing I could do to make this go away for him. It was the saddest thing. I cried in the tub with him as I held his little naked body close to me.

Eventually it all came out but the look of pain in his eyes still lingers in mind. Never do I want to see him in that position again. It broke my heart. That was on Sunday. Here am today, 2 days later, writing this with blurred vision because the thought of his pain still makes me cry.

Single Mommingly Yours, M