August 16, 2007

TIPS TIPS HOT TIPS

1) If you think you see an ant disappear under the toilet seat as you go into the bathroom in the middle of the night, why not trust your eyes and check things out? There is nothing to be gained in this situation from doubting your own sanity.

2) I don't use top sheets or mattress pads for children's beds. I use a waterproof mattress cover, a fitted sheet, and a couple of blankets that wash easily (the vellux ones are nice because they dry quickly). This can make the difference between losing my mind with martyred despair when the sheets need changing again---and just going in and changing the sheets. Especially if the child in question sleeps on the top bunk.

3) I have a "crunchies bin." It's a plastic lidded container, and we put all the smidges of crunchy leftovers into it: someone's five remaining goldfish crackers, someone else's half-bowl of uneaten dry Cheerios, a broken-up half graham cracker, etc. We end up with an ever-changing mix of Cheerios, Chex, Kix, Kashi, goldfish crackers, graham crackers, etc. We sprinkle a little of it on the highchair trays as appetizers if the twins are impatient for a not-yet-ready dinner. I also use it as breakfast for the twins when they wake up starving but I have to nurse the baby to stop the terrible, terrible screaming: pour crunchies into bowls, put bowls on coffee table--easy as feeding a couple of cats.

4) When a baby has a blow-out I can't face rinsing out in the sink as I usually would, I immediately put the clothes all by themselves in the washing machine on "low" and "pre-wash." After the cycle finishes, I spritz on stain treatment (if it's even still necessary, which it often isn't) and put them in the laundry basket for the next load. I file this under "Keeps Me From Losing My Mind" rather than under "Does My Part for the Planet." What? She's a mother, she'll understand.

5) I only like coffee when it's nice and hot, and it always gets icky and cold before I've had more than 1/4th mug of it. So now what I do is pour 1/4th mug and drink it down. A little later, I get another 1/4th mug. It feels a little lame to do it this way, but it also feels NICE AND HOT.

6) When someone gives me clothes as a baby gift, I like to take a picture of the baby wearing the outfit and send it to the person who gave us the outfit. If you want to do the same, it's a good idea to take the photo as soon as the child is dressed, rather than waiting for a better time, better light, or a better mood. For lo, the child is about to cover the outfit in barf and poop, and then you will have to start all over with remembering to dress the child in the outfit and take a picture.

7) People don't notice how cluttered your house is if it smells like cookies baking. And they don't say anything about how cluttered your house is if their mouths are stuffed full of cookie.

51 comments:

Pixie said...

I think #7 is the best one. Now where can I find a good cookie scented candle to go with my store bought cookies????

jennifer said...

OK, I just spit my totally luke-warm coffee out after reading #7! To add to the "picture in gifted outfit" numeral - I like to put those in their Thank You cards :) I do attempt & get the card out in a timely, under two week manner, but it's always a nice touch if you can be speedy enough!

nikki said...

A Crunchy Bin?!?!?! You are a freaking genius!!!!!!

JMH said...

Have I mentioned that I *heart* you??!!

Oh! I have a book recommendation for you for those late night nursing sessions: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It is the first book in a series, so I want to warn you that you may get hooked. :) (I am about to start Book 3)

JayJenny said...

Good tips, good tips!

Devan said...

crunchy bin!? very interesting!! I may have to try that.

And #7 - best tip ever. :)

Tessie said...

The crunchies bin! It's like ghetto snack mix! AND I LOVE IT.

Leticia said...

:o). I have a tip to add. I set up a "bottle station" in my master bath. I have everything I need to make the baby a bottle in the middle of the night. That means i have bottle liners (we use the playtex drop ins), a scrubber to clean the bottle, another bottle of dishwashing liquid, etc. At first I was feeding expressed milk (I was pumping), but now I'm giving formula...so I have an extra can of formula in there and extra water so in the middle of the night I don't have to walk all the way to the kitchen. LAZY. :o) But at night, every step counts.

I love the crunchy bin.

Shelly said...

Is this where I sign up for the Swistle Fan Club?

JMC said...

#2 - My 6-year-old refuses to use a top sheet to this day because I never put one on her bed when she was younger.

#3 - We have a "crunchies baggy." Same idea, giant Zip-Lock. But bin would be better, since I wouldn't have to replace it periodically.

#7 - I KNOW!!!! But how the hell do you find the time to bake? I can barely manage to keep everyone bathed on a regular basis (and I count swimming as a bath!). I'm with pixie on the scented candle and the store-boughts. Though I'm still DYING to do the choco-mint stuff.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I love every single one of these tips. Especially the crunchy bin, which we've been doing and has stopped lots of early morning screaming.

I also like the idea about cookies and a messy house. I think it would help ME forget my filth and make it hard for me to moan about it with a mouthful of cookies.

nowheymama said...

Love the crunchies bin idea, especially for those of us who must buy special (read: expensive) dairy- or gluten-free snacks and hate to see them go to waste.

When I was first dating my husband, he was still not using a top sheet because his mother never put them on her sons' beds. He was twenty-five.

Tessie said...

I'll also add that I STILL don't use a top sheet because my husband is such a tossy-turner that by morning it ends up feeling like someone short-sheeted the bed.

MrsGrumpy said...

I sometimes boil water with a cinnamon stick, vanilla and a 1/2 of lemon to get the "I'm making something good" smell without making something good. Of course there is nothing to stuff in my companies' mouths then. :)

Bunny said...

I knew you'd have some good advice after five children! And I am SO with you on #7. I would make cookies now if my husband wasn't expecting a peach pie. Much more labor intensive :(

Swistle said...

JMC-- Finding time to bake, I am not sure how it happens. Desperation, I suppose. And making it a priority over things such as my children's emotional and educational needs. I like to do cookies because they can be stopped mid-making without much harm coming to them.

JMH-- Hey, I just saw something about that book somewhere! Okay, now I have to get it.

Kelsey said...

We might have to try the crunchy bin idea. . . Harper is all about the crunchy snacks anyway.

Here is my tip to add (um, did you want added tips?):

I love to give gifts as books and I like to put a little message in saying who the book was given to/given by. BUT I also want people to be able to donate or regift or return books they already have or don't want. Which makes me hesitant to write in them.

Instead I write a little message on a clear address label and send it along when I send the books. If people want the gift message, they just peel the label and stick it in. If not they can throw it out or even save the message but not mess up their book with it!

shoeaddict said...

I love the send the picture of the baby in the clothes to the giver tip. I'm not a mom, YET. I'm a giver and I LOVE buying clothes for all my little sweeties. I'd love for people to do this for me.

laughing mommy said...

#7 - Hee!

I agree that the crunchy bin is genius.

Michele said...

Super Tips!
I keep my coffee in an insulated travel cup with a lid, at home. Stays hot longer, and the lid prevents (much of a) spill when I leave it unattended and a 2 yr old gets it. (no, they have never been injured, its not THAT hot, but they do both like theirs with cream and sugar, like I do)
I also have a crunch bag, and when it gets stale, I grind it up and use it for coating baked chicken. My husband loves it.

Shelly said...

Oh my God, tip #7 is priceless. I am so using that one. And I think the crunchy bin sounds interesting. When feeding my children becomes as easy as feeding a couple of cats, I will consider my life a success.

Stephanie said...

Good tips! I will have to keep them in mind. I am like you with the coffee...hate it cold. And I never drink it fast enough then I have to pout!

Stephanie said...

Good tips! I will have to keep them in mind. I am like you with the coffee...hate it cold. And I never drink it fast enough then I have to pout!

Sam said...

O Swistle. How could I be a mom without you? Would you please write an advice book? :) Seriously.

Pixie said...

Sam's right, you need to write us an advise book.
I think I need to try this crunchy bin idea.

Pixie said...

I meant advice...not advise =o\

Krissy said...

Hi!

Was out shopping today at Sam's Club and did you know they sell dark chocolate covered pomegranate??? I snatched up a bag, as dark chocolate has helped me to survive my fist three months as a mother of twins.

Just thought you might like to know.

CakeHead said...

Love number 7! Does cake work too? You know, it's got that almost brownie-ish smell going for it.

Shannon said...

Your cookies are awesome, too.

I made some the other night and I've swapped my #1 recipe with yours.

My "cat" is demanding milk...do you have a solution for drinks similar to your crunchies solution?

Artemisia said...

The organization! The creativity! This is why I am not a mother.

But tip #7 will definitely come in handy, regardless!!

Black Sheeped said...

Man, Swistle. You make me want cookies ALL THE STUPID TIME.

Especially now that I'm all nest-y in our new house.

Swistle said...

Krissy-- Chocolate-covered...POMEGRANATE? Is it...good?

Cakehead-- Oh, definitely. Cookies, cake, brownies, muffins: anything sweet and bakedy. (It does have to be sweet, though. No baked fish.)

Shannon-- Still working on a Milk Bin. Nothing has occurred to me yet. I suspect we ARE the Milk Bins. So convenient for the baby.

Julia said...

You totally crack me up!!

I LOVE the crunchy bin!! Love it so much!! Now I know what to do with the leftover cherrios...

I am totally with you on the hot coffee, except I have mine fresh. It cannot sit in the pot on the warmer, or else it turns to truckers coffee. Even just 10 minutes! I have thought of using a travel mug...because every time I go to sit down to drink it somebody needs something or comes by with a green cloud.

Jess said...

"She's a mother, she'll understand" is the best answer I have ever heard to people complaining about abusing the planet. I am going to have to steal that one.

Also, from my experience people in Europe tend not to use top sheets. When I lived in France my host family had bottom sheets and then blanket cover things that matched the bottom sheets. They bought them in sets that didn't even come with a top sheet, so it couldn't just have been that family's peculiarity. Also my fiance is German and he does the same thing. Which is great because I have always hated top sheets anyway.

tulipmom said...

S.B. just started using a top sheet .... something about a blanket being too hot in the summertime (hello, we have A/C!) ... did I really need one more thing to wash?

Your tips are brilliant! Crunchies bin here we come!

Omaha Mama said...

Those are awesome. As easy as feeding a couple of cats. Funny too. I'm going to start only pouring myself a 1/2 cup of coffee. I always seem to manage to finish 1/2.

Thanks for the wisdom!

Swistle said...

Julia-- I've been thinking of getting one of those coffee makers that brews right into a travel mug. I wonder if those are good?

Jess-- Ooooh, I would love to buy a set that came with a matching blankie! The way I do it now, I end up with all these spare top sheets.

Katie said...

Lovely! Great tips! I am going to start my own crunchy bin. Also, I am going to start drinking less coffee per cup. I keep reheating my damn cup and it never tastes as good once it is reheated!

Erin said...

Swistle, I was wondering about how you find time to bake, also. Since with two kids, I have a constant battle finding the time to shower.

I am working on a pictures-in-the-outfits right now for Kelsey at Mdwestmom. She sent me some of *the* CUTEST outfits ever. I'm going to post the photos today I hope. You'll have to check them out because the outfits are delicious.

Mommy Daisy said...

Lovely ideas, Swistle. Keep them coming. I'm sure as a mother of 5 you have plenty for us. Share your wisdom.

gabby said...

Note on #2: If you buy more than one water proof mattress cover & fitted sheet, you can layer them on the mattress. Then at 3 am when you go in to the inevitable pee nightmare, all you have to do it strip off the top layer. No need to wrestle with fittedness at 3am! Total sanity saver...

Erica said...

Hello. Will you marry me? Love, Erica

Jess said...

The Company Store sells bedding, including comforter covers, individually. So you could buy a comforter cover and a fitted sheet separately, but in the same pattern so they match. Here's an example: http://tinyurl.com/28ez93. They have lots of cool kids' patterns, too, and sometimes they have great sales. You have to be careful with the comforter covers though, because while some of them (like the one at the link) are like envelopes for blankets where they cover the blankets on both sides (which is the way they should be), others are just like top sheets that tie onto the blanket. The best thing to do is find what you want and then call the customer service number to ask what kind of comforter cover it is.

Sara said...

GREAT TIPS!! I also do the "pre wash" for stains and it works wonders!

Swistle said...

Erin-- I don't think I did any baking when I had a toddler and a baby, because what I remember doing is weeping because there were no cookies.

Gabby-- Great tip! I'm going to put on the second mattress covers next time I change the sheets.

Erica-- I believe we are already betrothed, as are our children.

Devan said...

No one has mentioned number 1, and I find my mind continuing to wander back to it...

Pann said...

I will have to remember the cookies thing the next time my mom is visiting. ;)

Stacie said...

What fabulous ideas. I think I may implement a crunchy bin because right now I have about 4 baggies of crunchies with a few bites left per.

And...I wanna visit your house, cookie lady.

jonniker said...

I don't use top sheets in the wintertime, and I'm an adult! We hate them. Hate. So we skip them altogether when we can, although in summer, it's too hot to rely on a blanket alone.

A crunchy bin! I want to invest in this for Adam and I, and again, WE ARE ADULTS.

Anonymous said...

"...pour crunchies into bowls, put bowls on coffee table--easy as feeding a couple of cats."

This made me laugh out loud!

Becki D said...

love love love #'s 6 and 7!