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.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...