Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Joys Of Bunco And The Importance of "Me" Time

Posted by Angiefairbanks at 1:55 PM 0 comments

I have posted before that I am a part of a close knit group of girls. Once a month we get together and play Bunco. What is Bunco? Bunco is great!! I will explain the rules etc in the second part of the post so keep reading...
I really enjoy my time at Bunco. Its a time that I can leave the kids at home with my hubby and I get out for me and only for me. I love it. I was reflecting while driving home how important it is that I go. I realize its just a game but really its more than that. This once a month get-away is like a break from motherhood and being a wife. It really gets me motivated upon returning home.

You know how it is as a mom, we get so bogged down in the everyday monotony of what we do that we are some days, just about ready to crack. Bunco saves me, and it probably saves my kids and husbands as well. I'm not saying Bunco is for everybody but you need to find something you like to do by yourself or with friends and just get away for a while, even if it is only 2 hours once a month.
All right I said I would tell you what Bunco was well here it is...

Bunco is a dice game that we play in groups of three or four. Each group is at their own table. Currently our bunco group has 16 girls (4 girls at 4 tables). At each table there are three dice. The hostess (I'll explain that in a minute) yells start. One at a time a girl will roll. We start out for example rolling for 1's. If we don't get any, the dice will move clockways to the next girl at the table. She rolls, if she gets 1's she will keep rolling until she doesn't get any then she passes the dice on to the next girl. Keep track of how many you roll and mark it down at the end of each roll. The first person in the whole room that gets 21 points yells "Bunco!" That will stop play and then we move on to rolling for number 2's.
Recap - Ways to get points
  • rolling the number that we are on (rolling 1's when we are on ones)

  • Rolling 3 of a kind other than the number we are on (rolling three 4's when we are trying to roll ones) This counts as 5 points and the roller will keep rolling

  • Automatic Bunco (rolling 3 of the number we are rolling on (rolling 3 1's when we are rolling for 1's)

I love getting an automatic bunco. Not only do you get 21 points but you also count all the other points you made while rolling for that particular number.

After you work through 1-6 and Bunco is called on every number the person from each table with the highest amount of points gets up and moves to the next table. I'm not sure what the reason for this is other than moving people around so that we can have different people to talk to.

You keep playing this way until time is up. You can decide this as a group. We usually end about 20 minutes until our girls night is over so we can pass out prizes and plan for next month.

Here are some more details that will help your bunco night go over better.

  1. Have a different girl every month take on the roll as hostess. She will collect the money the previous month (collect money at June's Bunco for July's Bunco)

  2. We charge $10 bucks a girl. This is to be spent on the prizes.

  3. The Hostess will buy prizes, one for every girl in the group (16 girls 16 prizes)

  4. The hostess is also responsible for deciding how prizes should be given out. Some will do highest score to lowest, some lowest to highest, some most buncos, some most zeros (rounds with no points scored), I have given everybody a number when they showed up and passed out prizes that way, some do random drawings. It really doesn't matter because all the prizes should be valued the same and everybody gets one. It shouldn't be to competitive just fun.

  5. We usually have a theme and keep the prizes all around 1 central idea (movie night, spa, food, summer etc.) This makes it fun but not necessary

  6. The Hostess is also responsible, if your group chooses, to plan a meal for everybody. We eat before. Its great to chat and eat before we let the games begin.

  7. Hostesses make sure that there are enough tables and chairs

  8. If a girl won't be able to make it, its important to find a sub that way there are enough girls to play. Its not detrimental if you are short a girl or two it just makes it easier and funner if you have a full house.

  9. At the end of bunco and prizes, the next months hostess takes over, collecting money buying gifts etc.
  10. Probably the most important rule of all: NO HUSBANDS OR CHILDREN ALLOWED!!!

Here is a link for free printable score cards

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Mommy Wars Round 1: Bottle vs. Breast

Posted by Angiefairbanks at 3:02 PM 2 comments

I am involved with a close knit group of girls that are all moms. Each of us come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences. More than once the topic of breastfeeding or formula feeding has been brought during our little get togethers and it started me thinking. I realized that us moms really have strong opinions on how we raise our kids, so much so that we know we are right no matter what. I also realized that this also takes place in other areas of motherhood. I call this phenomenon, "The Mommy Wars."

I feel I have a unique perspective on this topic because I have two children. My oldest was exclusively breastfeed for one year exactly and my youngest was breastfeed for about 4 months exclusively and then we made the switch over to formula at 6 months.

My son, who was breastfed was the best baby the world has ever seen. I can say that because he's my boy, I know I'm biased. He had no problems nursing, content, happy, the list goes on and on. My daughter, whom I love just as much as my son, is completely the opposite. She hated nursing, I mean hated it. I tried, I really did. I nursed her and fought with her for 2 months trying to get her to nurse. I knew that it was medically the best for her and I wanted it for her. I figured that if we worked hard enough on it we would eventually get it down and things would be OK. After about 2 months of fighting and stress I decided I would start pumping and just give her a bottle. She liked that so much more. At the moment I really liked the situation because a)she was getting the healthy breast milk b)she wasn't screaming all the time while I was trying to get her to nurse c)breast milk is free and d) I have a really good breast pump and I was able to pump in a really short amount of time and throw the pump parts in the dishwasher.

This went on for about 2 months. During this time I started to realize how much of a pain in the butt it was to go anywhere like this. I couldn't be gone too long because I needed to stay on a pumping schedule, yes I had a great pump but to me finding a place to pump while running errands with a 3 month old and a 2 1/2 year old was a little crazy. Also, it was hard because if she got hungry while we were away we had to find a place to warm her bottle up because I was unable to find a good car bottle warmer. Not to mention the fact that I had to lug around a cooler of some sort to keep the breast milk cold before she was ready to take her bottle.

During this time my daughter was still nursing at night. If I could catch her before she woke up entirely we could make it work. I think she was just to tired to care, to be honest with you.
One day she stopped nursing at night and I said to heck with it. I started giving her formula when we would go out, just because it was easier than taking breast milk with us, and she would also have formula at night.

We kept this habit up until she was 6 months old and I was placed on medication that I could no longer "nurse" her. She made it to 6 months and I figured that it was better than nothing. Even knowing this I still had some guilt over the issue. I think we as mothers want so desperately to do the best for our kids that we can. We battle with ourselves over everything we do for them because we have this fear that we are going to screw them up somehow. Well, at least that is the way I feel sometimes.

When I thought about "The Mommy Wars" I did a little research and came up with some pros and cons of breastfeeding and formula feeding.

Pros of Breastfeeding

    breastfeeding Pictures, Images and Photos

  • Mothers that breastfeed usually loose weight faster than non breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding requires about 500 calories a day to produce the milk for the baby.

  • Easy and convenient - nothing to buy or prepare, no bottles to wash

  • Free- need I say more
  • The mother can sleep during the 2 a.m. feedings
  • There is a very special bond between mother and baby that some will argue that is stronger in breastfeed babies and moms

  • Less spit-up, no stains, no smelly poop

  • Protects against some breast and ovarian cancers
  • May delay you're menstrual cycle from starting up again.

  • Contains natural immunity strengtheners for babies

  • Helps babies brain to grow and develop

  • Less learning and behavior problems

  • Less diaper rash and other skin problems

  • Less Colic

  • Easy to digest, less constipation and diarrhea

  • Protects against SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Cons of Breastfeeding

  • Time consuming
  • Mom has to pump if she want to leave baby or have someone else feed her.

  • Breastfeeding takes a lot of energy, mom can feel more fatigued than usual.

  • Possible anxiety/frustration while mom and baby are learning

  • Some moms can develop physical problems like clogged milk ducts that can cause pain and infections

  • Can be challenging for working mothers

Pros of Formula Feeding

  • Tastes remains consistent and is not dependant on mom's diet or activities

  • Mom's can eat or drink what they want with no worry about it effecting the quality of the milk

  • Formula is digested slower than breast milk so babies are satisfied longer while on formula
  • Mothers are able to take medications
  • Easy feeding for traveling

  • Wonderful for moms that for medical reasons or supply issues cannot breastfeed

  • Anybody can feed baby, good for dads that desperately want to be more involved

Cons of Formula Feeding

  • Expensive!!!

  • Bottles, nipples, bottle washer, bottle dryer, etc are all additional items that need to be purchased and don't forget cleaned

  • Not as good, nutritionally, as breast milk
  • Doesn't supply natural antibodies for baby
  • Formula fed babies have a higher chance of becoming constipated

After doing the research and having two DIFFERENT children I have realized that breast milk is best for babies. I read a quote that I think sums up my thoughts, "Breastfeeding isn't for every mother but it is for every baby."

I realize that medically speaking breast milk is best for babies. There have been studies and there really is no disputing this fact. Sometimes it isn't always as cut and dry as medical thinking may be. My baby wanted immediate gratification and did not want to nurse. I fought and fought with her, I wanted her to nurse. She was unhappy constantly, I was stressed and the tension level in our home was raised. Who knows, maybe I could of made it work but at the moment it was more important to me to help her to be happy. Her and I gave it our best shot and she received breast milk for 6 months, that's better than nothing. If we have another child I am definitely going to breastfeed our next but only time will tell.

I know girls that want to breastfeed but will not make enough milk to satisfy the baby and end up drying up within a matter of weeks. They wish they could breastfeed and they can't, they truly suffer from mommy guilt. Some moms chose not to breastfeed at all because it was better for them in their specific circumstance.

Bottle feeding blinkie Pictures, Images and Photos

Whether you take the stance of "breast is best," bottle feeding mommy or somewhere in between, love your kids and make sure they know that.

breast and bottle feeding Pictures, Images and Photos

Check back soon for the next round of "The Mommy Wars," working moms, vs. stay at home moms.


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