Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dishwasher helper

Dishwashers are pretty much the most wonderful invention ever! However when you have a baby everything you use in life shrinks. You're now living in munchkin land, and where in the world are you going to put those tiny bottle nipples, sippy cup valves, and lids, and tiny spoons?? It nearly seems like you'll have to go back to washing everything by hand, but not so! Munchkin has this great product that I've used since my baby was born! It's a basket that fits in the top rack of your dishwasher, and it holds all kinds of great stuff!! There are two compartments, one skinny one on top that will hold nipples and such, and then a larger one on bottom for whatever other random stuff needs to go in there. PLUS there is a dohicky on the side for straws once your lil one gets into those as well! Great! I love this thing! It has to be one of my favorite kido gadgets, cause it makes clean up so much easier!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank You, Please

With the holiday season looming in front of us I've been thinking about how we help our kids learn to be thankful. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, even over Christmas, believe it or not! Yet as I think about the "season" and all the stuff that comes with it, I've noticed that to find a thankful child is a novelty. Of course, part of that may be that it's about as novel to find a thankful adult as well. So how do we do it? My oldest child is not yet 2 so the concept of gratitude is difficult at that age. However, we have started training him to be thankful because I believe that it's a virtue that is extremely important. This past summer a great friend of ours taught our son to sign "thank-you." He added it to his repertoire of signs and he thought it was a great game as all things are when you're one. But now we ask him to say thank you when he is given something. It could be food he asked for, or help he needed with something. It's just a little way that we are helping our child learn the art of thankfulness. Now he can say "teek-oo" but he still signs it, and I think it's pretty cute too! Plus the added bonus is that it reminds ME to practice thankfulness as well! So what are some ideas you have for teaching your kids to be thankful?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baby Hankies

Kids and snotty noses just go together. One thing I've learned is that when you're wiping kido snot you go through a LOT of tissue! In our household we're trying to cut back on waste as much as possible. So when my baby boy woke up with a cold this week rather than bust out the box of Kleenex, I went to the closet where there's a HUGE pile of baby washcloths and voila! a hanky for the little nose. I'm sure most of you have those baby cloths lying around by the zillions because they make such cute shower gifts. :-) However we only normally use just a few a week, so it's great to come up with more uses for them. They are soft and gentle on tiny noses too. My son doesn't complain about the cloths nearly as much as he would about tissue. So next time you're battling the snot monsters in your home, just grab a wash cloth, they work great!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby Safety in the Kitchen

We all know that we need to "baby proof" our homes from dangers to our little ones. Sometimes however certain common sense things slip our minds. From time to time I hope to post some tips on keeping your kids safe through every day things you do. It becomes obvious to we 'seasoned' look-out-for-danger mommies when we are in the presence of people who don't have to be as "aware" all the time. It's okay to tell extended family, friends or sitters how to keep your child safe as well.
These tips are for you chefs in the kitchen. If you have a stove with knobs on the front, like us, you NEED to get the safety covers for them. Our toddler, not yet 2, can reach the knobs and thinks that if mommy can "play" with them, he too should be allowed. Our range is gas, so this could be a HUGE safety issue for the whole family should he turn it "on" but not light it. The covers are a small investment for peace of mind.
Next, when you are cooking on the stove top, please remember to keep the handles of pots and pans turned in toward the center of the stove. This is a great tip to use even if you don't have babies. It's too easy for the handle to get bumped and the scalding contents of the pan splattered everywhere. I know you don't even want to imagine what would happen if your little one grabbed and pulled on a pan handle. Easy solution, ALWAYS keep them turned in.
Finally, keep your dishwasher "locked." Our son likes to "help" with dishes and his very own "job" is to close the door when I've finished loading or unloading dishes. However, he has also learned to open the door by himself as well. The last thing I want him to be exploring when mommy isn't watching is the sharp knives and utensils that may be in there waiting to be washed. He's not strong enough to open the latch on the washer so if we keep it locked there's no worries.
Kitchen time with tykes can be sooo much fun! Don't ban your babies from the kitchen, let them be a part of those experiences with you, just use your common sense to keep everyone safe!

Friday, November 7, 2008

More fruits and veggies

Five whole servings of fruits and veggies a day! Whew! To me it seems like a monumental task even though I know when you break it down it's really easy to get those servings in. Here's a problem I've come up with in my household. I LOVE to eat fresh/raw fruit and vegetables, BUT I hate to take the time out during the day to scrub them. Also once they have been scrubbed and need to be stored, I dislike the way they sog so fast during the next day or two. I end up throwing away produce because it didn't get used up fast enough. So I found a couple of products that help me to wash and use the produce more effectively. One is Fit fruit and veg wash. I've used this stuff, and it is amazing how much ick comes off of the "clean" fruit and veggies you get from the supermarket! Gross!! I don't even want to know how much of that stuff I've been eating all this time. The other great product is the Rubbermaid produce saver! This is ingenious! Wonder why they never thought of it before! I have put folded up paper towels in the bottom of storage containers to try to keep the moisture level down, but it doesn't work as well as air! These containers have an insert and are vented to keep produce fresher, longer! It works! So here's what I do. I wash the whole batch of berries, head of lettuce, or whatever in the Fit, then I store it in the produce saver, and it's ready to eat whenever I get a case of the munchies! Works wonders!