Time Flies

Time flies…

I think of you BabyLeggers every day, and I truly know how blissful it is to hold your little ones. My own babies are now 12 and 10 years old, and it seems like long ago and far away that they were tiny, like so many of yours.

Rita & MichaelThough I’m not one to dispense advice or get overly-sentimental, I want to reach out to all of you who have kids in your lives.  Why?  Well, here at BabyLegs, we feel intimately connected to you because you care enough to protect your children with BabyLegs.  When I think of your daily routines and all of the joys and challenges of raising children, I’m reminded of days that seemed like an endless chain of diaper-changes, crying, feeding, laundry, chores, and yes, even bouts of loneliness.

When the kids were small, my neighbor was an elderly woman named Sally. She would see me in the yard with the kids, slathering them with sunscreen on hot days, entertaining them with the garden hose, cutting up snacks, reading to them, laughing at their antics, and getting frustrated if they bickered. As if she could read my thoughts, she’d say: “Every day seems like a year for you now.  But later on, the years will have flown by like days.”  She was right.Rita & Michael

The pictures that you BabyLeggers send to us, of your little ones playing or even napping, remind me that we often wish our lives away. We wish that the hard days would hurry into night, we can’t wait until the babies walk and talk, we hurry toward a finish line at the end of every goal.  And then suddenly, your babies are teenagers.  The years passed as quickly as days.

So here’s a little Tuesday reminder to cherish every moment, hold the babies without thinking that you might spoil them (you CAN’T!), and make every effort to engrave every these moments in your hearts.

BabyLegs loves your babies!

xRita

Avoiding Poisonous Houseplants

Poison control centers nationwide receive many calls yearly regarding children ingesting houseplants. And with summer ending, many people are bringing their prized plants inside. Most plants are safe and beneficial, helping to purify our stale indoor air. However, some plants contain toxins and should not be in reach of children and pets.

Angel's Trumpet

Angel's Trumpet smells heavenly but keep it away from children.

Do you know which plants are toxic? Many lists are available on-line that name toxic houseplants and tell you which parts of the plants are toxic; however, you need to familiarize yourself with what they look like. The best way to avoid toxic plants is to brush up on your plant identification. Don’t bring plants inside that are known to be toxic. Or better yet, don’t grow them. If you do have a toxic houseplant in your home, keep it out of children’s reach and label it. It is recommend that you tie a label on the plant’s branches. Include the botanical name of the plant and label it at toxic and name which parts of the plant are toxic (roots, leaves, berries, etc.) Ask others to do the same in their home (grandparents, family members, friends).

It is also important to teach your children to not consume plants and berries found outside or inside that are not edible. However, we know that children learn about the world through oral exploration. Children at this stage will stick things in their mouths and it is our job to make sure harmful items are out of their reach. For children old enough, The American Association of Poison Control Centers have tips for poison control for children. Their site also has a section of Poison Control Tips for Children with a short educational video.

Families should have the number to their local poison centers handy in case of accidental ingestion. You can find the number on the American Association of Poison Control Centers website. There is also a standard 1-800 number that will work anywhere (great for when you travel to grandma’s or if you’re on vacation). Put this number in your phone. Share this number with your babysitter, family member, anyone that watches your child while you are away.

The good news (being optimistic here) is that very large quantities of consumption of toxic plants will cause a severe reaction. Small quantities may only cause mild irritation and discomfort. Most children that are exposed to toxic plants usually consume a small amount and suffer only from mild irritation.

Do you have more tips regarding toxic houseplants? If so, please share.

-Victoria

*Beautiful Angel’s trumpet pic from Ewa in the Garden.

Dream Deferred

dress

Yesterday, since we were “trapped” in the house by sickness, I decided to tidy up a little. I saw Meg’s closet and how there was no more room on the rack for any hanging clothes. I decided to put some of her 18 month summer clothes away. It got me thinking about a blog entry that I have wanted to write… about the dream deferred. I have been thinking a lot about this, given our latest happenings with Meg. Putting away the dresses and the slightly too-big tanks and tees reminded me of the visions that I had had of Meg when I first bought them all last year.

If you know me, you know that I buy clothes well in advance. Maybe sometimes too far in advance. The strategy always served me well with my son. He has been pretty easy to predict in the growth area, staying constant and consistent throughout his three and a half years.

Meg on the other hand, has been super little from the beginning. I brought her home in a newborn outfit that was waaaay too big for her. The outfit that fit her best for the first month was a sleeper for preemies. Trying to predict seasons for her pre-bought outfits is like trying to predict which way the wind will be blowing five years from today in some far-removed, remote village.

Well, when I see a sale, I try my best in the prediction department. At the end of summer last year at my favorite Target, I found a rack of dresses that were just fit for a princess (I had a little girl! I could buy these beautiful dresses now!) at the bargain price of one dollar, two dollars and three dollars. What a deal! I started getting these visions of Meggie as a toddler, taking her steps slowly and awkwardly, getting her bearings as new walkers tend to do, her sweet little dresses bobbing up and down with her as she walked across the room to offer a toy to me with a smile. Or her in this pretty striped dress, toddling across the beach that we were almost certain to visit before we moved back to Ohio. Or her in the pretty purple dress, walking across the lawn on a beautiful summer day, her mom searching for that perfect photo op with the expanse of green lawn behind her and the sun high in the blue sky. I imagined her going to Sunday school in dresses. Maybe there would be a heat wave at Easter, and the possibility of a strappy dress for the kids’ Easter egg hunt. Imagine 18 month pictures in a beautiful dress! The possibilities for putting my perfect princess in dresses seemed endless.

Endless, that is, until reality comes crashing down, in my case. If I am being 100% honest, we will find that I have secretly been putting off my disappointments. It is not just dresses that were ultimately never worn. It’s the milestones hit a little too late… late enough to evoke a feeling of suspicion in me. It’s those moments where Meggie just doesn’t seem interested in something. Or the baby dolls we got her for her first Christmas, and the little accessories to go with them that have yet to be used or examined. Or that my two year old has yet to walk independently or eat solid foods. The dresses were ultimately never worn, because my daughter is still just crawling.

It’s that I have been hoping that, like in so many stories, the magical age of two was when things were just going to somehow align and work out, and she would start growing and fitting into the clothes that she was supposed to fit in two or three seasons ago, or she’d find some interest in the dolls, or she’d even magically start running around the coffee table in the same fashion her brother used to cruise, and by birthday number two, she’d take those steps across the room from Mommy’s arms to Daddy’s arms. That would save me the dreaded calls to the pediatrician, seeking services for a delay that I didn’t want my daughter to have… didn’t even want to believe that it was possible for her to have. Two was going to be my magic number… a glorious time. A truly, truly thankful Thanksgiving time.

Instead, we are now on our way to a destination into an unknown land. My tentative arrival there is marked with much anticipation. I feel ill-equipped to be traveling here. I don’t speak the language; I am not sure where I am going. I have never imagined myself sitting on these beaches or even in the homey little cafes. I am not sure which road connects with what… have no idea if a shortcut even exists. There is no map, and that makes me uncomfortable.

All road analogies aside, I say all this in hopes that the dresses are just a dream deferred. You know, just thoughts that came to my head…well, hopes really. Thoughts and hopes that may not have happened yet, but eventually will.  We’ve had some moments…some really great things…they’ve just not been what or when I was expecting them.

 And you’ll never believe what happened to me the other day: I found some dresses on sale and I bought them. Now if I could just find some fancy walking shoes to match…

——

About the Blogger:

Jen P. lives in Ohio, with her husband, son, and daughter.  Being a parent of a child with special needs is an incredible blessing, and she is glad that she was chosen to be Meg’s mom. 

 

 

DIY Cleaners for the Home

Recently, I’ve started making my own cleaners for the home. The smells of harsh chemicals were getting to my family and me. The “green” commercial cleaners work nicely and usually smell great, but they aren’t very economical. Making your own cleaners is simple and thrifty. And I don’t feel like I’ll die of asphyxiation while cleaning my house!

homemade cleaner

When it comes to making your own cleaners, you only need a few ingredients. Most things can be cleaned thoroughly with baking soda, water, or vinegar.

Baking soda and water can be used to clean tile, counter tops, stainless steel surfaces. All you do is sprinkle the baking soda on and wipe off with a moist sponge.

Tarnished silver? Use 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and scrub the silver.

Commercial stove cleaners are so strong that they run me out of the house! You can make your own oven cleaner without the suffocating fumes with baking soda. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stove. Leave it on overnight and then scrub in the morning with a damp cloth.

Baking soda can be used to deodorize carpets. As an owner of two pugs, I do this daily. I  sprinkle on baking soda on carpet. Let it set for about 30 minutes and vacuum it up.

Kosher salt and water can be used as a slightly abrasive cleaner for stubborn stains on surfaces.

Spray club soda onto showers or any place with soap scrum and wipe off. Repeat if needed. It amazes me how well this works after years of using bleach cleaners that made me feel like I was going to pass out in the bathroom.

I also clean grout with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water with a toothbrush. This works well if your grout isn’t a total mess! If you have stubborn grout stains, you’ll be using lots of elbow grease.

An acidic substance like lemon juice or vinegar can be used to remove mildew. Spray on, leave it on for a few minutes and then scrub off.

You can make a glass cleaner with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in a gallon of water. You can use old newspaper to wipe the mixture off of glass and windows.

If your garbage disposal is smelling funky, just put a lemon wedge in it. Run water and turn on the disposal.

To make kitchen and bathroom fixtures and stainless steel sinks really shine, just buff with baby oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil. You can also use this on furniture as a polish when mixed with water. Wipe on and polish your wood furniture.

I find that some people really dislike the smell of vinegar and attempt to mask the odor with essential oils. I don’t use essential oils since the odor of vinegar doesn’t bother me. I don’t really notice the smell after the vinegar dries. Plus, some essential oils need to be diluted to be skin safe. I like to keep it simple. But, I do love the smell of essential oils and some have antiseptic properties. You can find home cleaner recipes on-line that include popular essential oils with antiseptic qualities like thyme and lavender.

Do you make your on cleaning products? Why did you start making your own cleaning products? What are your tried and true favorites?

-Victoria

*Pic from My Own Labels. 

Transitioning to Toddler Bed

We are expecting baby number 2 and decided that it is time to convert our daughter’s bed to a toddler bed (mainly because my growing  stomach is making it harder to get her in and out of the crib).  We wanted the transition to be as easy as possible for us and for her.  We decided to keep her crib and transition it. She was used to the crib and we were worried that a new bed would make the process harder. Her crib was able to be transitioned to a toddler bed by removing the front panel and adding a bed rail. The bed rail was placed in the middle of the mattress so she could not climb in and out of the bed. We also decided for the first few weeks we would still put her in the bed and get her out as if the bed was still a crib. We hoped this way she did not know she could get in or out by herself. We thought that would make the transition easier and she wouldn’t be trying to play when it was bedtime.

On the first night of the toddler bed we read her a book, put her to bed and kissed her goodnight (just like we always did). She noticed the railing was different, but never tried to climb out. We thought it was too easy and expected her to be climbing over the rail soon! We watched on the video monitor and before we knew it she was asleep! The next morning we went into her room and she was still in her bed! We had one successful night in a toddler bed! Whoo-hoo! We continued the same routine every night for about 2 months and never once did she get out of her bed.

Recently, we let her discover that she could get in and out of the bed by herself and she still has not gotten out in the middle of the night. In fact, she LOVES bedtime now because she can crawl into the bed and cover herself up like a big girl! We put a stool by the bed and moved the rail closer to the head of the bed so she could get in and out easier. We don’t let her play in the bed during the day and the only time she gets in the bed is naptime or bedtime—in hopes of preventing her getting up in the middle of the night and playing. The transition was easy and very successful and I believe it was because we slowly changed her routine to get her used to it.

(Here is a picture of her bed the first night we converted it–actually it was the morning after converting it! 

How did you transition your child to a toddler bed? Was it an easy or difficult transition? What were some of the things that you did to make the transition easier?

About the blogger:

My name is Stephanie.  My husband and I have bern married 3 years.  We have a two year old daughter, McKenna, and a little boy due in January.