Two Great Baby Tips

I had a great idea for a blog: write about three of my best baby tips. But there was a problem, I could only think of two tips. So here you go. Two never-fail, good-advice-in-any-situation tips! Seriously, everybody in the universe who takes care of a baby should use this advice!

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1. I remember my mom pinching my tummy in the zipper of my footie pajamas. In high school a friend caught my lip in my zipper as they zipped up my coat collar. Here is a way to never zip your baby’s skin in their footie pajamas.

Pinch the zipper handle between your thumb and index finger. Bend your middle finger around the top of the zipper head (the part that slides), planting your finger pad firmly on the base (the part that fests against your baby’s skin). As you slide the zipper up or down, your middle finger protects baby’s skin from getting zipped.

I used to only follow this trick while zipping up and I thought my kids would grow o a ripe old age without me ever having zipped them. But just this morning my wiggly toddler got pinched as I was unzipping him. So from now on I’ll be holding the middle finger guide in place both up and down.

2. I was having trouble finding the diaper rash ointment, we call it booty medicine, in my diaper bag and also in the basket where I keep diaper supplies. I didn’t want to root for it, so I’d start without it then when it turned out I did need it, ugh, it was somewhere at the bottom . Yada, yada, yada. So I thought to myself, “Why can’t I just keep the wipes and the booty medicine together?” AHA! I taped the ointment tube to the side of the pack of wipes! It has been working great. Be sure to tape it so the ointment lids opens away from the wipes (mine is a flip lid). My wipes go faster. So when they are gone, pull of the tape and tape the tube to the new package.
There you go. Enjoy a slobbery baby kiss! Live is good.

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Celebrate a Little Victory

My kids’ piano teacher just told me this at our impromptu parent teacher conference. “Any time he makes the slightest improvement, I praise him to the skies.” With a more negative attitude I could have taken this as bleak news. But isn’t that exactly would I’m doing when I tell the baby how smart she is for biting her own toes?

Lately I’ve been joking that DD5mos sees every second she is awake as a small victory, except that I’m not really joking. Babies who stop napping at five months are no picnic.

However, when I take a minute to apply this idea to myself, as we should do with all wise words, I realize how ecstatic I would be every minute of the day if I got into a better habit of celebrating the little victories. Imagine this: “Yay! I finished a load of laundry!” as opposed to “Drat! I am nowhere near finishing the laundry today!”

Would that make a fantastic change in my attitude or what! I’m excited to try it this evening. I’m going to make a big deal about how beautiful my kids’ teeth are and how great their breath smells instead of complaining about the toothpaste in the sink.

Two Great Baby Tips

I had a great idea for a blog: write about three of my best baby tips. But there was a problem, I could only think of two tips. So I didn’t write the blog. But these two tips are too great to keep to myself. Two never-fail, good-advice-in-any-situation tips! Seriously, everybody in the universe who takes care of a baby should use this advice!

Three months old!

Three months old!

1. I remember my mom pinching my tummy in the zipper of my footie pajamas. In high school a friend caught my lip in the zipper of my coat collar. Perilous things these zippers. Here is a way to never zip your baby’s skin in their footie pajamas.

Pinch the zipper handle between your thumb and index finger, thumb on the bottom. Bend your middle finger around the front of the slider. Plant your middle finger pad firmly on the base of the slider. As you slide the zipper up or down, the first joint of your middle finger stays between the zipper and baby’s skin.

I used to only follow this trick while zipping up and I thought my kids would grow to a ripe old age without me ever having zipped them. But just this morning my wiggly toddler got pinched as I was unzipping him. So from now on I’ll be holding the middle finger guide in place both up and down.

2. I was having trouble finding the diaper rash ointment, we call it booty medicine, in my diaper bag and also in the basket where I keep diaper supplies all together in one spot Hint; do this if you haven’t already!). I didn’t want to root around for it, so I’d start the changing without it then when it turned out I did need it, ugh, it was somewhere at the bottom. So eventually I thought, “Why can’t I just keep the wipes and the booty medicine together?”

AHA! I taped the ointment tube to the side of the pack of wipes! It has been working great. Be sure to tape it so the ointment lid opens away from the wipes (mine is a flip top). My wipes got gone faster so I pulled them apart and taped the tube to the new package.

There you go. Actual fantastic ideas. Now go enjoy a slobbery baby kiss! Live is good.

What’s Stopping You?

Our little local museum has a fun "please touch" table. That and the caboose are always highlights.

Our little local museum has a fun “please touch” table. That and the caboose are always highlights.

Sometimes I don’t do things I should. Now that I’m an adult I report to myself quite a bit of the time. This makes it easy to slack off. So what’s a woman to do when she’d like get back on track? Stand by for truly profound and life-altering advice:
Do a little bit.
I know. It’s astonishing. But it really can be that simple if you let it.
I have fallen into a trap of indecision paralysis. You might be familiar, you can’t quite decide what would be best so you do nothing. I’m also prone to over-whelmed paralysis: where a task seems so daunting that I plain flat don’t start it.
And once you procrastinate something, it becomes a big, fat, hairy deal. But the opposite is also true. Take your first bite out of the task before and you’ll likely discover it wasn’t as bad as you’d told yourself on the sleepless, worried nights.
Take our family for example: We’ve got the homeschool year underway, I’ve done some of the “get ready for winter” list, mostly wardrobe related, and I am sort of semi-prepared for this month’s pack meeting tomorrow. Yay, me! What was I worried about?

Alright, next time we feel our steps slow with dread, we’ll take heart. Remember (Mary Poppins was it?) “well-begun is half done.” And half-way done is a good start on any project!

The Power of the Uni-Task

So much to do, so little time. That is often my attitude in general. I used to be a fantastic multi-tasker. I never sat down in front of the TV without papers to proof or my latest crochet project.

But the last year or so I’ve started to appreciate the value of doing just one thing. I think I can credit my children for this change. Let me brainstorm my reasons:

  • I am always one second away from catastrophic distraction. Seriously, you never know what might happen next, anything from blood to floods to broken eggs or just the unfounded piercing shrieks that punctuate our day.
  • I’m in a half-stupor more than I realized was possible. I worked a lot of overnight “sleeping” shifts throughout college, so I was no stranger to interrupted sleep, but boy-howdy my kids (and hubs, let’s be real) have taken that to a new level, a walking sideways, dreaming of diapers level where I can’t always tell real from imagined come morning.
  • Teaching things to kids is hard. You don’t want them doing anything other than what you say when you say it. I find it is a bazillion times easier to work with them if I’m not trying to do ten things, or even two, at once. I can focus, and so can they, sort of. And I won’t find them in their underwear, swim flippers and overcoat wandering into the bathroom with a peanut butter sandwich.
  • But mostly I want to grab snatches of joy where I can get them. Never have I had more reason to be happy. I always wanted to be a wife and mom. But now that I’m here and now that there are people whose lives are affected by my whim and fancy, I find that cheer is an elusive butterfly that I just don’t even think to catch and carry with me until after I’ve stormed all over somebodies fun day parade.

I still love the washing machine, because I s long as it is running I am always getting two things done at once. But I’m learning to follow Ecclesiastes “To every thing there is a season, and a time . . .”

Let each activity have its time. The things I get done will be more meaningful and less often burned. Maybe I can learn this lesson while I still have children. Otherwise I’ll have to practice it on the grandkids while their harried mothers follow my frantic, crabby example of motherhood. Ouch.

Hallelujah for Endings

We agree on the best way to spend a snow day.

We agree on the best way to spend a snow day.

Today was the last day of school for DS9. It was also his last day of weekly Cub Scouts and twice weekly Taekwondo lessons.

Let me tell you I am ready for a break! The only person more ready than I am is DS9. And he is not really the reflective grateful type (yet). So I’ll think about my gratitude more often than he does.

Now I’ve given this some thought. “How can I be so happy for these endings?” Well first, I could so use a break from reminding, re-reminding, checking up, and physically prompting him every day. Or as he sees it interrupting, annoying, prying and spying. Okay, I’ll still have to do this, mainly for dog duty and dishes. But we won’t be on a schedule.

And second, these endings are temporary. He isn’t graduating or getting married or anything permanent and life changing. We still have time together. I can take a deep, oh so deep, breath and relax and just enjoy my son.

I love him. I like him, too. I want to revel in that. Now if I can relax my uptight personality and embrace the joy-that-is-ever-present-when-you-care-to-look. Does that sound like a summer vacation plan?

I think I’ll have to make three summer lists:

Work To Do’s—yeah there are things that need doing.

Fun To Do’s—because if you don’t schedule them in these fleeting summer days will
pass us by and in December the kids will ask me yet again why we didn’t make
ice cream.

And

Love To Do’s—this will be my stop-and-smell-the-baby’s-hair-and-don’t-you-dare-
take-off-those-rose-colored-glasses-cuz-you-know-you-wanted-nothin’-but-to-be-a-
mama-since-you-was-a-girl-and-girl-this-is-it.

Thanks, guys. I get my best ideas when I’m thinking through, because it’s for you.

Latest Update–What have I been doing?

What have I been . . .

Reading?

I finished book three in the Beyonders trilogy. Very good. DD 15, Hubs and I enjoy read quite a bit of YA lit. One stand out line was “sacrifice is giving up something good to get something better.” I enjoyed the excitement of the story, but it is the struggle to be selfless and to cling to faith through trials that will bring me back to this book.

Procrastinating?

Removing clutter. I have gotten rid of a few things, but there still seems to be too much. I am overwhelmed.

Accomplishing?

Our living room has made some strides toward becoming nice. I donated an exercise bike, moved furniture, and made a plan to make the sewing machine accessible. There’s more work, but its getting close.

Planning?

Fall high school courses for DD15. I’m also planning to let her drive more. I have to put her need to learn about my own comfort (and safety–ahem).

Anticipating?

Lots of weekly outings to our local Drive-In! Yes, you heard me right; we have one of those!

Not planning to fix?

Typing. I can’t blog in the dark, ‘cause I gotta look at my fingers!

Promising myself I’ll do?

Clear off my desk, blow up my Mother’s Day hippity-hop, write in my kids’ journals. Seriously, why do I put that off?

And what do I wanna do?

I want to start tomorrow like it’s a whole new world! Like Miss Hickory, I want to graft myself into a whole new life of vitality and usefulness. (Just finished reading that book with the littles tonight, too.)

So, in case I don’t see you, . . .good afternoon, good morning, and good night!