"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


You know how they say "Necessity is the mother of invention?" Well, I for one believe that mothers are the inventors of all things truely necessary. She may not have gotten the credit, but Mama Edison probably had a pretty heavy hand in the whole lightbulb thing. From time to time I'll share my favorite Mama Tips, Tricks, and Tools of the Trade. I can't take credit for most of these. I learned them from other moms and from other teachers back in my former life. Some are common sense (but maybe forgotten), some are "Now why didn't I think of that?" and some are pure genius.

Juice box handles: Flip up the triangles on the ends of juice boxes. Kidd0 holds handles = kiddo can't squeeze the box = no more spills! (Until kiddo uses handles to hold juice box upside down to watch the juice pour out of the "hose.")

Stainless steel fridge and a billion letter magnets that just won't stick? No problem! Cookie sheets work just as well as the old school 'fridge....and better yet, it's portable! No more kiddos under-foot while you're trying to get dinner together.

And while those cookie sheets are out, get out the shaving cream! Just about every kid likes to smear the stuff (except mine: Evan's not big on mess.) but it doesn't "clean" our kitchen tables like it "cleaned" our classroom tables, does it? Cookie sheets contain the fun! (Bathtubs are great for this, too.)

Picky eater? Serve a snack tray! Put a few bites of different snacks in a muffin tin or in silicone cupcake cups. Make sure some are tried and true favorites along with the new snacks. You don't get to pick what your kid eats, but once the faves are eaten up and the belly is still rumbling.....guess what?! Yup, tears and begging for more pretzels. But stick to your guns, mama, and someday that picky kiddo just may try something new.

We need to carry Evan's Epi-pens and Benadryl with us at all times. The clear, plastic toiletry bag that came with our luggage is perfect for a take-along first aid kit. Those pencil pouches you used to clip into your 3-ring Trapper Keeper are great for this, too.

It's way more fun to drink applesauce through a straw than to use a spoon.

Don't you hate it when the sidewalk chalk gets so little that little knuckles get scraped? Me too. Crush those odds and ends up (put them in a ziplock baggie and hit it with a mallet), mixing colors as you wish. Put the chalk dust in a little tupperware container and add some water--mix until you get a tempera paint consistency. See where I'm going with this? Get out the paintbrushes and let the kids make-over the driveway!

My Big Boy loves trucks. He loves construction trucks, garbage trucks, fire trucks...basically anything big and loud that has a Big Job to do. So, he has lots of trucks. It's fun to play with front loaders and dump trucks in the sand box, but what about when you're stuck inside All Winter because it's Obscenely Cold and Snowy? Pom Poms! Fun to scoop and dump, easy to clean up, and very, very quiet.

Bigger kid and smaller trucks? Buttons!

I was looking for a growth chart that really grew with my kids, and didn't look like it belonged in a nursery (even though we're still in the nursery stage.....). Then I saw an idea for this do-it-yourself chart. It's just a seamstress' measuring tape hot-glued to a board and nailed to a wall.

Lesson Learned:

Who said anything about "Mommy Brain?"

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