Category Archives: Products

My Favorite Bleach

I actually hate bleach. I prefer to stick with more natural, less toxic cleaners when possible.  Every now and then, when there’s a stubborn stain that just won’t come out of a white shirt or when the diapers start to look really dingy, I briefly consdider getting some bleach.  Until my good friend appears:


Chloe ate spaghetti for lunch the other day at MissK’s while wearing her “C” shirt and I’m pretty sure that her friend gave her a big spaghetti hug when they were done eating, because the front AND back of the shirt were completely covered in spaghetti sauce.  I pretreated it with a stain stick and threw it in the wash.  The stain didn’t come out though, so in to an Oxi-Clean soak it went for the next couple hours.  Then I washed it with the diapers – about 2.5 hours of cleaning time with pre-soaks and extra rinses.  Still there.

As a ‘last ditch’ effort to save the shirt, I put it out on the clothesline for the day.  When the shirt came in at the end of the day, there was no sign of a spaghetti hug.  So the shirt lives on to be worn again by my cute girl and I was reminded, yet again, of my love for the sun!

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As a totally unbiased observer, I have to say, Chloe Mae is one smart cookie!!  🙂  Not only is she smart, but she absorbs and remembers everything  we say or do – for better or worse – and is always asking questions, counting, “writing” people’s names, etc…  I want to take advantage of her sponge-like brain and desire to learn by working on her letters, number recognition, shapes and anything else that her 2 1/2 year old brain is interested in learning about. 

I have no desire to send her to preschool at this point.  We’re happy with where she’s at during the day right now.  At this age, I don’t think she needs a classroom setting to learn.    With a little work, I’m fairly confident I can do a perfectly acceptable job of teaching her the basics.  With that in mind, I harnessed the power of Google and came across the Brightly Beaming Resources.  Their preparatory curriculum is 26 weeks long and features a weekly theme and letter of the week, along with a  color, number or shape.  There are suggested activities and books to read to fit the theme. 

The lesson plans are all laid out on the website for free, (which is totally in my price range) so I think I’m going to try to get the first few weeks put together and give it a try.  For all of the seasoned mama’s out there, what did you do for preschool??  Any suggestions for me??

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Bath Time

At dinner about a week ago, we were talking about how it was bath night.  Chloe said she wanted to take the first bath, but then she dilly-dallyed and it was getting late.  Devon was going to need to go to bed soon, so I suggested that they take a bath together.  I rolled up my pant legs, sat on the side of the tub and held Devon while DaddyMort soaped him up.  Anyone who has bathed a baby before knows that they’re slippery when wet, and even slippery-er when lathered up, but we made it through.

Turns out, the world’s best big sister loved having her brother in the tub with her and wanted him to join her on her next bath.  So we tried putting his little tub in the big tub.  We thought that if the little tub had more water than the big tub, combined with his weight, that it would stay put.  Not so much.  So – I rolled up my pants again to help hold his tub in place during the bath.

The next bath night, we tried the Bumbo.  It still floats, but has been the best option by far.

Here’s the very happy big sister, with the leary little brother.  You can tell by the look on his face that he’s worried about being squirted by Chloe’s unicorn…

We’re thinking about getting one of these to make bath time easier.  Has anyone ever used one before??  Or have any other ideas about bathing a little one with an older sibling??

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We have a new vehicle…

…and I’m trying to be happy about it.  Here’s the thing though – it’s a minivan.  And there’s just something about a minivan.  I can’t explain what, there’s just something.  Here’s what the logical side of me knows I should be saying about our new acqusition:

We got a minivan!  We traded in my Chevy Equinox for a Mercury Monterey, and got the dealership to cut us a check.  As Chloe will happily tell you, it’s mommy’s favorite color – blue.  There are power sliding doors for the backseat, which is a huge plus with little ones.  The front seats are heated leather seats, with memory settings for several drivers and power adjustable pedals.  There are dual climate controls for the front seat and separate controls for the rear of the vehicle.  The dash displays all kinds of cool things – like miles left until you need to fill up.  And there’s even a built-in kid mirror so I can see my little one(s) in the back seat!

In addition to some of the nicer features the van has, it gets better gas mileage than our previous vehicle.  And the reason we traded it in – we can fit up to 7 people (comfortably 6, but still…)  With the Equinox, we wouldn’t have even been able to fit a 5th person in with 2 car seats.  Now, with the minivan, we can take road trips with family and load up in 1 vehicle.  There’s a decent amount of cargo space in the back and the rest we can strap onto the luggage rack on top.  Now we just need to plan our first trip!

I’m going to review these great features every day, start on some fun adventures in our minivan and pretty soon, that something will be a thing of the past.

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Our Smoothie Queen

As a family, we have smoothies at breakfast 2 or 3 times a week.  At first, I shared mine with Chloe.  It quickly became clear that she wanted (needed) her own cup.  We have one sippy cup with a straw and Chloe has been working hard on making it work.  The problem is, she wants to tip the cup back like she does with all of her other cups.  But the straw cup needs to be kept down for it to work – the whole idea of a straw 🙂

We try to remind her to “keep the cup down like mommy’s.”  That generally works for about 3 seconds before she flings it back up in the air.  We have discovered a slightly more effective method though – she just wedges it down between herself and the table.  It’s adorable.

And what do you think about her bed-head??  Cute isn’t it 😀

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Wanna mop my floors??

I’d like to think that Aaron and I are not messy people.  I feel like we’re disgustingly messy people these days though.  I’d like to blame it all on the fact that we’d rather spend our time playing with our daughter when she’s awake, which leaves after bedtime and naptime on the weekends to get basic things like laundry and dishes done – with some possible relaxation thrown in for good measure.  And although that is a good chunk of the reason, some of it can be blamed on laziness or impatience.  Turns out, Chloe Mae would love to help us clean, it just takes about 5 times as long.

Here she is “helping” daddy vacuum.  She wanted to push the main part of the vacuum around while he was using the hose – helpful, except Aaron really needed the canister to stay where it was.

Aaron thought he had it made when he rigged up our Swiffer and made the handle just her size.  She loved it, as long as we were watching her and not doing anything else.  As soon as Aaron went back to vacuuming, she needed to help on that again.  I’m thinking someone might be getting their own Swiffer for Christmas this year so we can tag-team it.

We did eventually get our entire first floor vacuumed and relatively dog hair free, even so much as moving furniture and really getting everything cleaned.  Only a small portion of the floor got mopped – or Swiffered as the case may be – before Chloe lost interest.  We’re having people over on Thursday night as part of a progressive dinner through Young Professinals of Ames.  I’d really like my floors to be spectacularly clean by then.  So, we’ll start the negotiations at a dozen cookies.  Anybody willing to  come over and mop my floors for a dozen cookies??

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Gripe Water

BabyMort seems to have tummy issues.  Quite often, after she eats, she just screams.  We can generally calm her down by bouncing, swaying, walking, shushing…or some combination thereof, but it usually only works for a few minutes before she’s at it again.  At night, she didn’t want to sleep in her crib, she much preferred to be held by one of us, which I think has to do with being laid down flat.  The whole situation makes DaddyMort and I miserable, not only because we’re constantly dealing with a screaming baby and little sleep, but because we wish we could make her feel better!!  I don’t think any parent likes seeing their child in pain – especially when there’s nothing you can do to make it better.

We tried gas drops after her feedings.  They seemed to help a little, but definitely didn’t solve the problem.  She went to the chiropractor, with the hopes that an adjustment (and for the record, because people give me a strange look when I tell them this, her adjustment was far different than an adult adjustment and I have full faith in Dr. Rod that he wouldn’t do anything potentially harmful to my little girl!!) would get everything lined up and help her digestive system work a little better.  Considering the physical trauma she went through during birth, we figured an adjustment made sense.  She slept a little better that night, but it was probably just coincidence, because it didn’t seem to help long term. 

Most recently, we tried Gripe Water.  It’s basically water with ginger, fennel and sometimes chamomille in it.   These herbs are all supposed to aid in digestion and help out a baby’s immature digestive system.  We gave it to her for the first time on Friday night and she spent the whole night sleeping in her crib.  She ate at 10, 1, 3, 5 and 7.  Ideally, we’d like her go longer between feedings, but her sleeping in her crib was a good first step.  We tried it again before bed last night and she slept on the exact same schedule.  We only gave her a dose after her 10PM feeding, so we might try giving her another dose midway through the night to see if that helps her sleep a little longer.  We think sometimes she’s just waking up because she’s uncomfortable, and then eats because it’s comforting.  But for now, I think we’re going to call gripe water a success!!


Filed under BabyMort, Eating, Products