Birthday Tradition

My husband and I were trying to come up with something special we could do for our son every year on his birthday.  We weren’t looking for anything expensive or elaborate just something to help him remember his previous year and to let him know how special he is to us.  After much online searching and asking friends, we decided to make a quick digital memory book.  Now eventually (like when he’s in his 30’s since that is when I will have the time), I plan to make him a real scrapbook, but for now choosing about 100 pictures and arranging them with the help of Shutterfly was our best choice.  It was  an easy project to complete though I will admit it made me tear up several times.  Here is what we included:

  • A cover page with a head shot from every month
  • Pictures from every month (arranged together by month)
  • A story or short note about the month
  • A letter from my husband and I to our son

I know that he is young and that for now the book will be just like any other, but someday I hope that he looks back at these with fond memories.

Table Food

How many meals do you want to make at dinner? My answer – one. Never did I think that making a different baby friendly meal every night so our son could eat table food would be tiresome, but after a few weeks it was. Then I realized I was overly complicating dinner. The only real change I needed to make was taking his food out prior to salting our portion. This and the take and toss containers I store his “leftovers” in have changed my dread for dinner into an excitement. Additionally I have a 10 month-old who eats Brussels sprouts, Greek yogurt, enchiladas, collard greens, and anything else you put in front of him!

The First Year’s Take and Toss Snack Cups (4-Pack)

Oh, Pretty Lights!

Baby’s first Christmas is quickly approaching! Though I know this is the year of boxes, tissue paper, and bows, I’m quite excited about sharing this season with our son. One thing worried me however – how were we going to keep him out of the Christmas decorations? We devised a plan and though we won’t claim perfection it has worked quite well.

  • 1. Put only soft ornaments at the bottom of the tree.
    2. Do not use ornament hooks on low ornaments.
    3. Make a rule about not touching the tree and stick to it. We often have to divert his attention with something else when he forgets this.
    4. Put child friendly decorations at child height (ie the Charlie Brown nativity, the soft stuffed snowmen, etc.) and allow Baby to play with these.
    5. Don’t expect to use all of the same decor you always have used – some items just aren’t safe right now.
  • And We’re Walking!

    After the initial “He’s walking!” comes “He’s walking.”. If you have never experienced extreme excitement quickly followed by dread you will the day your child learns to walk. Let me elaborate. Our son started walking independently at a very young 7 1/2 months and we were so excited for about 1 minute. Then, in addition to our excitement we were terrified – every piece of furniture we own was pretty much at forehead height. After a significant amount of thinking, we decided our best head saving option would be to put foam pipe insulation around the edges of our coffee table and low shelves. Yes, our son likes to try to pull the insulation off and yes, it can be a “weapon” for patting the dog or cat, but in the end this solution has saved us a number of black eyes and bruised foreheads.

    Toothbrushing Parties

    20111121-121058.jpgSo our little man’s first tooth, or more accurately teeth since the bottom two came in together, popped through about 6 weeks ago. Immediately we wanted to help him develop good toothbrushing habits so we started having family toothbrushing parties right after breakfast. In the beginning, our son would just turn the toothbrush over in his hands and we let that be enough, but after a couple of days of “brushing” his teeth with us he started putting the toothbrush in his mouth. Now, when he did this it was often the wrong end but we would gently tell him and pull the toothbrush out. Amazingly in only one month, he started using the correct side of the toothbrush and is now mimicking our movement fairly accurately. In the last week, we have added baby tooth and gum cleaner (fluoride free of course) to his brush and you can see our 8 month old bursting with pride each day as he cares for his own teeth!

    Storing Baby Clothes

    Now that Baby is in his 4th clothing size I have figured out that storing all of his clothes until the next little one comes is going to be trickier than expected. I originally was packing his clothes into bags and then placing these into large plastic storage bins. This was great until there were a couple of sizes in the same bin and I had to figure out which bag was which to add to one of them. It also was trouble when trying to find somewhere to keep all of the large containers. Yesterday, I realized that I could probably fit an entire size worth of clothing into one of the large diaper boxes we get off of Amazon. After trying it, I found this to be true and also figured out I can store these boxes on the shelf in Baby’s closet. Best part of my discovery – no more purchasing expensive storage bins!

    Where is that Sock?

    It’s that time of year again.  Long pant wearing.  Jacket required.  Sock necessary.  Fall.  At least in Ohio it is.  This year, I have found that I have a new problem to face with fall clothing.  I have to wrangle baby socks.  I have tried many solutions to no avail – the leaning tower of socks that inevitably fell over unlike the real leaning tower, the baggie of socks – who has time or the free hands to open and close a bag, and the pile of socks – has anyone seen his other blue shoe sock.  However, in true obsessively organized fashion I have found a solution.  Sock baskets!  In my teaching days, I called them pencil baskets and many people use them to sort silverware, but they are the perfect size for baby socks and probably even toddler socks.  Now, Baby’s socks are neatly placed in pairs in these baskets.  Yes, baskets.  No, he doesn’t have so many pairs as to require more than one, but I find it helpful to sort them by type as well.  We have a basket for shoe looking socks, one for slipper socks, and one for regular gym socks.  So save yourself some sanity and buy sock baskets for your little one’s drawers.  And while your at it get some fun socks as well!

    6 Months!

    Wow! Time surely does fly when you add a baby to the mix. I feel bad that I haven’t written in forever but then again what can you expect from a busy mom? Life has been full of playing and feeding with sleep sprinkled in. My now 6 month old hardly naps but is a great nighttime sleeper so I can’t complain. Instead, I have become excellent at one handedly doing several tasks (i.e. folding laundry, making beds, etc.) as well as making tasks more interesting (envision the dancing and singing show stopping musical style number version of dusting the living room). I still can’t live without my ecosash carrier, though “the boy” will play by himself for a bit now. My Boppy pillow also continues to save my life or more accurately my back. I have always liked my Boppy for feeding purposes but the bigger he gets the more I appreciate the support. Bumkins Bibs are favorites around our house now too as they clean easier and are a tad larger therefore catching more spills. What will be our next adventure? Baby proofing! I’ll keep you posted as little man becomes increasing mobile and curious!