Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time to Spice it Up!

When you've been doing the same dirty chore the same way for a very long time it obviously get's old. The only thing you can do is try something a little bit different, a little crazy, to spice things up. It's time to break the monotony for my sanity and my husband sake.

My oldest daughter is soon turning 6. Although it's very monumental all I can think about is the fact that I've been changing diapers for 6 very long years. Don't get me wrong, my daughter is potty trained. I've just had kids so close together that I've always had one in diapers. I've decided it's time to spice things up.

On a crazy internet whim, I bought a set of gDiapers, liners and flushable liners. I felt these were the best choice for myself because I just can't keep up with laundry so I knew I couldn't do cloth diapers.

I just got my huge box of gDiapers yesterday. I have to say, they are mighty cute. My daughter's hiney looks darn cute in cloth diapers. Especially the pink frilly ones. I couldn't resist. They seem breathable and comfy on her too.

gDipers are a "hybrid" diaper which means they aren't quite cloth and aren't quite disposable. They are cloth outer diapers with a flushable liner. So far, pretty good. I did clog the toilet once today with a wet diaper. I do like the fact that I can flush the dirty diapers. No more stinky Diaper Genie. No more dogs scoring a fresh treat. Sorry, but "it" happens.

Let's hope this is the little change I need. I hope this tiny amount of change gets me through the next two years I have left of diaper changing hell.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Can I Get Some of That?

Yesterday I took my kids to Dinosaur camp in the morning, we rode bikes outside for two hours while the baby slept and then went to the pool for another three hours. While driving back from the pool my son asked, "Mom, what are we going to do when we get home"? I felt like saying, "Honey, mommy's going to drink a rum and diet coke and pass out on the couch. I don't care what you do as long as the baby isn't choking and you are all quiet".

Where do these kids get this energy and where can I get some? I'm trying very hard to wear my kids out but all I'm doing is wearing myself out. The more I do with them the more they expect. They are becoming activity greedy little monsters.

Maybe I need another "don't leave the house, stay in pj's all day", day. Then maybe they'll appreciate a few hours at the pool or camp in the morning. But then I'll be pulling my hair out listening to, "I'm bored".

What's the lesser of two evils? Being exhausted from running around like a crazy mom or listening to my kids fight and be bored? I can't decide.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reusable Sandwich Bags – Not Just For Sandwiches

Our society has made a push for using reusable things to reduce waste and production and clean up our environment. Although this is a wonderful reason for making new reusable items, it’s also reason to celebrate because these items are great for other purposes.

Reusable sandwich and snack bags can be used for multiple purposes. They are more durable than their cheap plastic counterpart and can be washed easily. Reusable sandwich bags can be used for the following purposes:

  • Storing extra batteries in the car to replace headphone batteries or hand held game batteries
  • Carrying crayons to restaurants
  • Storing game cartridges for hand held games
  • Carrying a pacifier at an easy reach in a diaper bag – keeps it clean and germ free
  • Keeping coins or game tokens for your next trip to an arcade
  • A place to store hair bows, rubber bands, barrettes for hair
  • First aid kit – add band-aids, medicine, bug sting stick, first aid cream
  • Great for holding makeup – can be washed easily
  • Holding small toiletries such as toothbrush, travel toothpaste, travel mouthwash and shampoo

As you can see, the possibilities for reusable sandwich bags are endless. Of course, they are also useful for what they are intended. Carrying a snack or sandwich inside is perfect. Sandwiches stay fresh and uncrumpled. Kids associate their snack with their bag and automatically know which snack is theirs. The bags make snacks more appealing and fun to eat from.

One household can spend as much as $300 a year in plastic sandwich bags. Purchasing reusable sandwich bags can save money and decrease waste and production. Most reusable sandwich bags are currently produced by small business, many work at home seamstresses. Supporting these hardworking woman and men and ending up with a very usable, green product is a win-win situation.

We are currently running a sale on our bags with FREE SHIPPING! Hurry - this is for a limited time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Top 10 Things to do on a Rainy Day

There is nothing worse than a house full of bored, energetic kids on a rainy day. Having a few activities for rainy days on hand will reduce their boredom, reduce tension and anger and make for a much happier day. It's important to keep these activities on reserve for just rainy days. If you do them all the time, it won't be as special on a rainy day. Keep some activities just for those cloudy wet days.

Activity 1 - Play-Doh Mouse House
Every house should have a few cans of play-doh around. You can create your own or buy some from the store. Kids love to create with play-doh but when they are given a task it becomes much more fun and imaginative, especially for younger kids who may not know exactly what to do. Tell your kids to design a house for a mouse. They can make little couches, TV's inside the house. The house can just be walls and rooms, not necessarily a 3D structure. Let the kids explore and imagine. The kids can even make mice to live in the house.

Activity 2 - Create a Fort
Forts can be made out of anything around the house. Don't only make a fort but give the kids something to do inside such as watch a movie, color a picture or read a book with a flashlight. They then have a goal to accomplish once the fort is created.

Activity 3 - Make a Movie
Most households have camcorders. Keep a blank tape or DVD around for rainy days. Let your kids create a story to be made into a movie. Have them collect props, costumes and whatever else they need. Do a few dress rehearsals before the "taping". This rainy day activity will turn into a cherished memory years to come.

Activity 4 - Crafts
Keep a small Tupperware box full of craft things in your house for rainy days. You can buy these things on clearance or at the dollar store throughout the year. Buy wooden pegs or blocks to paint. Foam stickers are fun to create designs and pictures out of. Construction paper, scissors and glue are great for making masks or puppets.

Activity 5 - Board Games
You can find board games on sale at local toy stores around Christmas. Games are now available for children of all ages and levels. Purchase a few and keep them in your rainy day cupboard and only get them out for rainy days. New toys or games keep kids excited and interested. Play together as a family and come up with a prize for the winner.

Activity 6 - Paid Jobs
This kills two birds with one stone! Make a chart of jobs to be done around the house and the amount you'll pay to have them done. These can be easy jobs like dust or put laundry away. They can be more difficult like give the dog a bath or empty the dishwasher. All should be age appropriate. Kids will be eager to work around the house if they know they will get paid.

Activity 7 - Teach Your Children How to Use the Computer
Make a power point presentation on a topic of your child's choice. Teach them how to copy and paste things. Play on the internet on various children websites such as Teach your child how to use paint or any other painting application. This knowledge will be extremely valuable later on in life.

Activity 8 - Old Fashion Games
A great rainy day activity is to play some old fashioned games. Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, Red light Green Light, What Time is it Mr. Fox. Duck Duck Goose, I Spy, Four Corners, Hot Potato and Keep Away are just a few or the classic games. You can google the games for directions.

Activity 9 - Tell Nursery Rhymes
So many kids today don't know the old nursery rhymes of yesteryear. Get out a good Nursery Rhyme book or you can get one from the Library and share some good old fashioned tales with your kids. To make it even more fun, have your kids choose a character and act it out while reading it. Your kids will understand the story even better and get out some of their extra energy on a rainy day.

Activity 10 - Symmetrical Painting
Use some white computer print paper and some paint. Fold the paper in half and only let your kids paint on one half. When they are finished fold the paper and press firmly. When the kids open it up they'll see their beautiful designs. You can cut the paper into heart shapes or butterflies. Be sure to teach them the term symmetrical as this is a great teachable moment!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wake Up Baby!

My world revolves around my daughter's naps. I love the fact that she naps so well and she's on such a great schedule. I shouldn't complain because I know some of my great readers, who have kids who hate to nap are probably putting a hex on me right now. BUT, I hate the fact that I'm stuck at home with my two older kids between the hours of 9-11 and 1:30-3:30. Thankfully I have just enough time to get out for lunch or a trip to the grocery store.

I hated seeing the end of naps for my older kids, but with that sadness came a sense of freedom. I no longer had to drive frantically home from a play date with the windows open and radio blaring (I know you've done it) to keep my toddler awake until we got home for nap time. I could peruse the mall and not care what time it was. We could linger at the grocery store or a friends house.

Not anymore. I've started all over with baby number 3 and what's worse is I'm back to two naps a day with two bored older kids. I know what you are thinking, just let her sleep in the car or stroller. Well, you haven't met "Angry Baby." When my baby gets off her schedule, she reverts to her old nick name. You don't want to feel the wrath of Angry Baby. So, I sit here for four hours a day, stir crazy, entertaining the older kids.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not Your Average Snack

I need to give a shout out to the food manufacturing industry. When my first daughter was born Gerber came out with Puffs, the little melt in your mouth snacks for babies. I thought those were the greatest thing in the world and so did she. I used to refer to them as "Baby Crack." Today my youngest daughter bats those away when she sees them. Those are nothing compared to the food that's out there today for babies.

It's wonderful. Gerber has made Melt Aways, little yogurt dried snacks that melt in your mouth. They also have Lil' Cruncher which are almost like a semi-nutritious cheese puff chip. My all time favorite snack are the Mum Mums which are like a puff shaped like a big stick. They are clean, and easy for the baby to hold. I love them.

As a busy mom of three with a very independant baby, I salute you food manufacturers. These snacks have given me time to unload the dishes from the dishwasher, put groceries away and check the occasional email. I love products that make my life a tad easier.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mediocre Mom

I got to watch 5 minutes of Oprah today. That's all of the allotted tv time I get these days between Hannah Montana and Noggin. I usually only get to tune in just to see the topic I'm going to miss before all of the complaints come rolling in.

Today they were discussing Motherhood. There were two perfect looking moms talking about the demands of motherhood and how so many moms weren't able to meet those demands and how most moms were not happy with their role.

It made me think about the amount of pressure put on moms these days. So many moms try to have the perfect kids and perfect life. They dress them all up and expect them to be angels. They drive them to every lesson known to man and expect them to succeed. They cook perfectly balanced meals and expect their kids to eat them. They make all the crafts, and have playgroups and playtime. They read all the expected books. But they can never achieve perfection. It's not possible.

I'm not out to be the perfect mom and I think if that's your goal, you're going to fail miserably. Those darn little kids get in the way of being able to be a perfect mom. I'm pretty happy with being a half-ass mom. I do the best I can and I laugh at the parts I'm not good at. For example, my cooking skills. I'm also really bad at reminding my kids to brush their teeth. I could go on and on.

My kids aren't going to be dressed perfectly with matching shoes and accessories. They aren't going to act properly all the time. They aren't going to succeed at every sport, or lesson known to man. They probably won't get perfect grades or always have their homework done on time. Lord knows, I'm not always going to be composed. But they will be loved and will know how to love and I think that's the most important thing I can do for them. They will also have a great sense of humor.

I'm glad I didn't get to see the whole hour of Oprah. I would rather let my kids watch too much tv and be a bad, happy mom than listen to the depressed overachievers who have failed at being perfect. My message for you? Strive for being mediocore mom and be happy. You'll be perfect in your kids eyes.