Friday, September 5, 2008

Kid Tips

I only have two children, but thought I'd share a few tips I've learned along the way. Just odds and ends, but things that have helped with parenting or just plain space saving ideas.

Here they are:

* FROZEN PEAS - My boys love these as a healthy addition to just about any meal. And I serve them frozen. It's easier for me and not cooking them is healthier for the boys. I have to give my mom credit for this one.

* BASKETS - I love my nesting baskets purchased at TJ Maxx Homegoods. I have three in my living room. They all have lids so no one is the wiser about what's inside. One is for my personal stuff (books, magazines, etc.), another is a toy box, and the last is for the baby (diapers, wipes, burp rags, etc. so that I don't always have to be at the changing table to take care of business). They aren't indestructible, but I've taught my kids to stay off them and be careful with them. But at $15 for the largest one, they aren't irreplaceable.

* CLOTHING STORAGE - While we were blessed to be given a free bunk bed from my cousin, I now know that if I were to purchase furniture for my children's room, I'd buy a bed that has room for storage underneath. We put three plastic drawers under their bed for all of Ethan's clothes. All of his clothes are accessible to him and don't take the space of a dresser. I also bought a plastic "dresser" for Elijah's clothes at Walmart. He can open all the drawers, help put his own clothes away, and it's small enough to not dominate their small room.

* DIAPERS - For those of you who buy name brand disposable diapers (I like the chlorine-free ones), is the place to purchase them. You have to buy them by the case (4 packs), but it's a lot cheaper than the store, they are delivered to your door for free, and you can save additional $ if you do the "Subscribe & Save" option, meaning you sign up to have them delivered at certain increments (every month, two months, six months etc.) You can always change your delivery time to earlier or later, or just cancel altogether if you're not happy. I love not have to lug them from the store to home along with all my other groceries and purchases. Wipes are also available on Amazon.

* THE DISHWASHER - Ethan when he was 5 learned how to unload the dishwasher. Granted, he puts the majority of the dishes on the counter, but he is able to put away all the silverware and pots and anything that goes into a lower cupboard. The rest he stacks on the counter, so I do NO bending (great while this preggo!) He puts all the plates together, bowls together, and so forth.

* GARBAGES - Both boys help with garbages every week, bringing them from the bathrooms and changing table, for me to pour into the kitchen garbage to be taken out. They then return the empty garbages back to their designated spot. Elijah has been helping to do this chore since he was 18 months old or so and loves to help!

* CLOTHES SORTER - I just recently purchased a $15 clothes sorter for the laundry room. The boys have been helping with laundry for quite some time, emptying the dirty stuff over the stairwell and then taking it into the laundry room. Now I'm teaching Ethan to help sort, using notecards to label each section of the sorter and then describing what kinds of clothes go into each section. (He can read, which helps!) The biggest thing for me is that now I can see how much I have of each kind of load, rather than just looking at a big pile and assuming I have enough for a load of whites or darks.

That's it for now. If I think of more I'll do another post and if I really feel adventurous, I'll add pictures of the things I mentioned. I'd love to hear some of your great tips for housekeeping, mothering, whatever!!!

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