As soon as I remind myself of the past 4 years of sleepless nights I remember why I like this stage of my life. My baby is almost 2 - my oldest is 13. Besides, nap time is a sure thing these days!
Here are a few tips I've learned that have helped me tons!
And some cute pictures from a family get-together we had this week.
#1 - Juice boxes = ice packs. I always keep a few 8-packs of juice boxes in my freezer. I leave them bound together by the plastic wrap they come in. When we go somewhere (lake, park, long car-trip) I bring them along. By the time the kids are ready for a drink - they are mostly melted and still ice cold! These double as ice-packs and keep other foods cold too!
#2 - Keep a soft sided cooler in your vehicle at all times. When it's time to go somewhere, we toss snacks, baby wipes, frozen juice boxes, several empty bags (for garbage, wet swimsuits, diapers), and whatever else we think to bring in it - and we're ready to be out for several hours.
#3 - Run out and buy a hexagon shaped baby-gate. I've shared this with so many other moms and have gotten NOTHING but positive feedback. First of all, it's a secure play area for ANYWHERE. It's lightweight - costs just over $50 (walmart has theirs priced @ $50 with $0.97 shipping!) - and is SUPER easy to set-up and move. You can put this outside and hang clothes on your clothesline without chasing any children - you can put their kiddie pool in it... you can put their kiddie pool on your deck and open this gate up to block off part of your deck (zip-ties work GREAT for tying this gate to your deck and is easily removed!). Need to scrub the kitchen floor? Set this up in the living room. This very gate has helped me so many times that we finally bought a second one!
#4 - Eat Outside. Often. Heck - anytime you can! I'm NOT gonna show you what my floors look like after ANY meal, but I'm sure you can imagine. We eat on our deck as often as possible and many times cleaning up involves using a hose. before we eat, I fill a clean ice cream bucket with water. After they eat, we use the water to wash their face and hands. Then the plants get watered (and of course all the ketchup & food bits that get in the water are treats for the flowers and plants!).