Extreme Play Date

Well I survived...and so did my poor dog! I don't think she quite knew what she was getting into when we adopted her only four months before my daughter was born. But I remind her, she picked us licking, jumping, even peeing and yes, pooping at our feet on the floor of the shelter. We took her anyway...25 pounds over weight and all. But I digress...because both of us survived our first extreme play date.

Technically, it was our first play group. Six one year olds, six moms, two baby pools, a water and sand table, lunch, and a lack of bathing suits. I have to admit it was pretty stinkin' fun (pun intended...at least three of the babies pooped during the two hour ordeal).

We've only lived in our city for two years and when we moved here we didn't know a soul. Since then we've grown to love it meeting lots of friends, many, I'm sure will be lifelong friends. Some have kids, some don't. Perhaps my dearest friend, Christie, lives just up the block. Olivia and I are so blessed to see them at least once at day. Christie and I have always said it's nice we have each other, and the kids have each other, but we'd like to form a play group. Quite frankly two kids isn't a play group, that's a play date. We've invited other moms we meet to get together, but for one reason or another it never works out. Then about two weeks ago I heard about meetup.com. Turns out it's a great place to meet people with similar interests. I joined a mom and kids group for toddlers. I took Olivia to our first meet up and she had a blast. So did I! We met lots of other moms and babies. Two of the moms expressed interest in starting a play group since our children were all born in the summer of 2008. One of them also knew a few other moms who might be interested and I invited Christie and her son. We planned our first weekly play group for yesterday and I volunteered to host it.

The beauty of it was all the kids are within about 3 months of each other (4 within 2 weeks), all are on the same nap schedule (making planning a time easier), all are walking (that was part of the criteria), three live on my side of town, three on the other side (we'll rotate week to week), most of the moms are SAHMs, one or two work from home part time, none of the moms knew all of the other moms, but everyone knew at least one other mom.

We had two baby pools set up, Olivia's sand and water table, and every toy imaginable displayed in the living room. The kids had a blast and the moms did too! I think we all felt great when we left knowing the kids were all going to take wonderful afternoon naps and being assured that yes, green chunky poop is normal and so is not being able to say "mama and daddy plus 3 words by 13 months" as some baby books set as a milestone.

As for the dog, I put her on crumb clean up duty and she was in her glory...

More Tips on Starting a Play Group
Meetup.com Helps Local Moms Meet
Easy Places to Meet Other SAHMs


Making Money Online: My Most Successful Month as a Mom So Far

Far and away, August has been my most lucrative month in my little side business (aside from being a full time mom, of course) as an online freelance writer. I'm really starting to see some serious money rolling into my PayPal account each month. A full year after my daughter was born, and 10 months after leaving my job as a TV News Producer, my online venture is starting to make a real difference in our monthly budget.

As you read down and look at my sources of income keep the following in mind: I am a fulltime, SAHM. I do not have a babysitter any day of the week. I only write or "work" when my daughter is napping (max 3 hours a day) and I rarely do work after my husband comes home (around 4pm) or on the weekends. Some days I do not write or "work" at all because I have other more pressing things to do such as housecleaning or grocery shopping. That being said - it is possible for moms (yes, even those of walking, curious and on-the-go one year olds) to make $500+ a month in extra cash. Here's how I did it in August.

Ehow Earnings: $252.26
Ehow Article Written in August: 0
Note: 100% passive residual income
Learn more writing how-to articles and earning passive residual income on Ehow.com

Examiner Earnings: $44.24
Examiner Articles Written in August: 23
Learn more about becoming a freelance writer for Examiner.com

Examiner Bonus Earnings From Referrals: $150 ($50 per referral)

eBay Earnings: $33.84
Items Sold on eBay in August: 3

Affiliate Earnings in August: $ 15.07
Commission Junction: $1.25
Amazon: $1.32
E-Junkie: $12.50
Total Products Sold thru Affiliate Programs: 4
Note: 100% Passive Income
Learn more about Affiliate Marketing as a way to earn passive residual income

August Dual-Family Yard Sale: $58

Total Online Earnings in August: $ 495.41
Grand Total for August Earnings: $553.418

Through my Examiner column, which focuses on Baltimore SAHMs I have started a weekly series called Make Money Mondays which offers moms creative and legitimate ways to make money from home.

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