Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Toys for Free

Mommy Tip of the Day: Rotate some of your child's toys into a closet and out of site. Then trade them out again after a few weeks. It keeps your toy area more manageable and it is like getting new toys every few weeks.

Thanks to garage sales and my husbands fascination with the Amazing Animals, my daughters have more toys than they need. I TRY to contain them all in a small area of our house. I say try because of course, my daughter drags them out through the whole house. One of the ways that I try to keep "Magic Toy Land" under control is to limit how many toys go back there. I have a closet in another room that I don't use for much, but I keep a box in there that I rotate toys into.

I take some of the stuffed animals, and some of the dolls, and some of the amazing animals, just any old assortment really. Some days there is no rhyme or reason other than the first 10 things that I get my hands on. They all go into the closet for a couple of weeks. When they come out, my daughter is excited to see them again and a new set goes away for a while. She never seems to miss the "Friends" when they are "on vacation" and it is a special treat when they come out.

I try bring the "friends" out when she has earned a special treat, or even better when I need to get something done. When I need a chunk of time to get a set of slings made, or to finish some other Snuggy Baby project, I will bring out the toys and I get a good 30 minutes to an hour where she is completely entertained and I get lots done.

What mom couldn't use 30-60 minutes of uninterrupted work time?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting rid of the vomit smell

Mommy Tip of the Day: To get the vomit smell out of your car, cover the area with a thick layer of baking soda, let dry and then vaccum the mess away.

Saturday was my cousin's wedding. As with any social event that has a set starting time, we were running late (at least we thought that we were). Under the best of circumstances, we would have been running late. This however, was not the best of circumstances. Twenty minutes before we were supposed to walk out the door to drive to the wedding, my oldest daughter was still at the park on the other side of town with her grandma who had not gotten the message about the wedding.

So when she got home and was rushed through a clothes change and potty time, I just assumed that her crankiness was due to being rushed. When she almost fell asleep in the truck on the drive down, I assumed she was cranky because she was tired. That one really did not make sense because Grandma had reported that she had taken a 4 hour nap already.

After leaving the house 20 minutes later than I wanted to, and driving faster than we really wanted to to make up for leaving late we were within minutes of the church when we heard the dreaded sound. No parent likes to hear that sound. There is nothing good that comes from that sound. We didn't even have to look. My husband just pulled over and I tried to clean her up as best as I could. Thankfully I had something in the truck capeable of cleaning up the bulk ofthe mess, but unfortunalty not the smell. I was really glad that it was a beautiful fall afternoon and we could drive home with the windows down.

After we got home I got some soap and water to clean up the mess, but again, I couldn't get rid of the smell. So I grabbed some baking soda. I always have plenty of that on hand for my diaper pail. I figured that if baking soda can control the diaper pail oders, it had to be able to help with this mess. Sure enough it worked! I just covered it with a thick layer of baking soda, let it absorb and dry, then came back in the morning and vaccumed it all up. The truck smelled so much better.

The real kick to this story is that after all of that rushing, which very likely was the cause of her getting car sick, we weren't even late. I had read the inviation wrong and we would have been 20 minutes early.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ironing Buttons the Easy Way

Mommy Tip of the Day: To easily iron buttons on a shirt, iron it from the back side. The iron will glide right over the buttons and you won't have to iron around them.

When I became a mom, I should have just given away all of my shirts that need ironing. And any shirt with buttons is just a choking hazard because my dear angels think that buttons are too cool and want to pull at them till they come off anyway. But if you have decided to accept the challenge of wearing shirts with buttons that also need pressing, all I can say is, "Why?"

This morning as I was rummaging through my clothes, trying in vain to find something appropriate for this tricky fall weather (too cool for shorts, but too hot for pants) I finally decided to pull out a pretty wrinkled button up short sleeved shirt. Not at all what I would normally choose, but it was the best option that I had available. Normally I would look at this wrinkled shirt and decide one of two things. Either I would take the time to throw it in the dryer with a wet towel and try to get some of the wrinkles out; or more likely, I would just put the silly shirt on and hope that the wrinkles worked themselves out.

Today, for some unusual reason, it dawned on me that I had the iron already set up just a couple of feet away. it was waiting on slings to be pleated, but helping out this poor wrinkled shirt should make it feel useful, right? and surely it would only take a few minutes, right???? For the record, NOTHING only takes a few minutes with a 2 year old and a 9 month old running around.

This seemingly menial task that in my mommy fantasy was ONLY going to take a couple of minutes, ended up taking at least 10 between the screaming and chasing. Thankfully the buttons only took a couple of seconds, or I'm sure that I would have given into the screaming and chasing and just worn it wrinkles and all.

Wrinkles are the new black, right???

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Getting a toddler to eat

Mommy Tip of the Day: To get a picky toddler to eat more, turn dinner into a game.

Dinner time with a picky toddler can be a frustrating thing for any parent. I want my kids to eat well, even though I rarely manage to have the best eating habits. Thankfully I have been blessed with 2 beautiful girls who actually like to eat vegetables. (Sorry I don't have any great tips on getting kids to eat broccoli.) My problem is that my older daughter is a grazer. She only wants to eat a couple of bites of food and run off to play with her "friends" . There is just too much playing to be done to sit still and do anything as mundane as eating.

My DD loves to learn, so to get her to stay at the table longer and eat more, we have turned dinner time into game time. Her favorite "game" is to count each bite that she takes. We only start the game after she has stopped eating on her own, and now she can count to 20 in Spanish and English. She also likes us to make up stories about her and her friends which always involve big meals and lots of bites of food. (She has to take a bite of food every time one of the characters in the story takes a bite. )

It keeps her engaged. She doesn't get bored and want to run off to play. Best of all she gets to interact with us. I am sure that is her favorite part.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to have more time to talk to my husband (or any other adult for that matter) over dinner, but for now I will settle for getting my daughter to eat a few more vegetables.