Friday, November 29, 2013

Keeping track of all that food!

I really, really should copy and paste my post content into Gmail before saving here.  20 mins of precious kids-are-napping time gone down the tubes.  Anyway, here's my second go.

One thing I was wary of with Kristen starting solids was keeping track of which food was going to expire when.  It's recommended to keep food, while refrigerated, no longer than 3 days including the day the jar was opened or the food was made.  Pair that with mommy brain trying to keep track of everything else along with kids deciding to reject different foods on different days and it feels like a constant game of catch up - or toss-out, as it were, with the food, since we kept letting things go past the "baby best before" date.

I tried to keep on top of the dates with a decent enough tracking system when Derek started solids. I used the Post-It plastic tabs with the date opened or made written with a fine-tipped permanent marker. This was because we had so many around and I wasn't going to return to my office job! Once the jar or container was emptied, the Post-It would go I the fridge ready to be used again. I would mark out the previous day and write a new one, and usually could fit 5-6 dates this way. Once a tab was full it would be tossed.

We still have some tabs stuck on our fridge, waiting to be used again. Unfortunately they're no longer a la mode in our home as I've found an quicker to do, easier to see, less wasteful method of tracking baby's food. Behold! - the china marker. 

I stumbled upon this method when I wanted to write down the date of when I opened a jar of food but didn't have a marker on hand.  I didn't really like the tab system as much anyway.  I happened to have a china marker accidentally brought home from work so I used that to scribble on the date on the lid.

I soon realized that this works well with containers in general and have been marking my left overs too!  I love that I can write large enough so items at the back of the fridge can be read, and that I dont' need to create waste with the tabs (or with washi tape, which is another system I read up on).

I refined my system a bit when it came to labeling frozen food.  I would mark when the food was made and when it was frozen (as sometimes it's not the same day, and at least it's clear if it is or not).  So M = made when and F = frozen when.  M: Nov 26 F: Nov 27 would mean that whatever is in the container was made November 26 and frozen November 27.

What would I freeze food in? Baby Cubes! I can make 1-2 oz frozen cubes of food ready to be defrosted when meal time came.  Pop them out by running the bottom half of the Baby cube under warm-hot water for about 10-20 seconds.  WITH THE LID STILL ON, gently squeeze the bottom to see if the frozen cube would pop out.  If you don't keep the lid on, be prepared to catch the cube!

When I haven't finished the frozen food but need the Baby Cubes to store more food, I pop out the cubes as per above then store all the like food with the same date info into a freezing bag, marking all appropriate information on the bag.  So on one might read "Chicken puree, M Nov 17 F Nov 17".  This allows me to build up my inventory of healthy food for Kristen and also diversify the food portfolio!

That said, I haven't used this system to its fullest extent.  I'm a bit behind in building up my inventory.  But thankfully, I don't have to mentally keep track of everything and I'll know I have items on hand to use or take with me. =)

How about you?  What method do you use to track food? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2.5 months and we're potty trained! *\0/* *\0/* *\0/* *\0/* *\0/*

Okay, that was supposed to be a host of cheer leaders at the end... did anyone get that?  You did? *\0/* =D

If you read my previous posts, you will remember that eons ago we started potty training.  Okay, not that long ago but it feels like it, only because we've had fairly good success with everything.  Derek has had his accidents, of course, but for the most part he's got it down.  Mind you, he's a toddler, so he knows the routine but still needs to be prompted and prodded.  Please hold down your wee-wee, please don't touch Mommy with your pee pee hands, flush the toilet first, don't play with the water...  We also have to help him on and off the big toilet and pull up his pants - he can't quite grasp how to get it over his little bum yet!  Overall though, we've got a potty trained 3-yr-old in our household.  *insert image of prancing parents joyfully tossing diapers in the air here*

Our new experiences are as follows:

1. Rushing to potty after waking.  This sometimes goes as smooth as butter.  Other times, he wakes up as if he's being attacked by the potty, blanket-kicking and all.

2. Remembering when to push fluids and when to stop them (no more 1.5 hrs before nap, 2 hours before bedtime).

3. Saying every 15 minutes "Let us know if you have to go potty!" and "Remember to keep underwear dry!" and "Let's try to catch the poo-poo today!"

4. Watching our soap supply deplete much quicker than before.

5. Potty calls 1.5 hrs after bedtime. =S

6. Remembering to take him to the washroom before leaving the home, 40 mins after leaving, and before going back home.  Can't kick it back and let the diaper do all the work!

7. Pack extra socks in the diaper activity and food bag.  Underwear lets pee travel all... the way... down.

8. Avoiding pee hands.  Derek likes to touch our face after holding down his wee-wee.  Uncool!

9. Cheering poop results like it's homecoming.

10. Exchanging diaper sales for extra laundry washes (but we don't mind!).

I'm sure there are more but that's enough to give a glimpse.  The main issues we ran into were poops in the potty (especially since we kicked off this whole training right after an episode of constipation) and night time nature calls.  I'll get into those over the next couple weeks.  Feel free to poke and prod me with questions about our experience; it was a bit of a blur so I can't remember things well enough to give a detailed report but questions trigger the memory. =)  We were also so busy I forgot to note things down in Derek's journal, which would have detailed things for us.

How about you?  What have you tried for potty training?  If you haven't started, what parts are you most wary of?  When are you thinking of trying?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Parents may be in hamster balls too!

Wow, so I got almost double the number of visits I usually do with the previous post about the differences of priorities & schedules between single/no-kid people and parents.  I started to cheer a bit until... I saw that a good number of people jumped the page, and the average time was pretty low.  =S  I really hope I didn't offend those of you who are single or don't have kids because the sentiment definitely does not apply to everyone and even if it did, it isn't usually to the extreme of the person who submitted the question.

What I do hope is that it creates some better understanding to single/no-kid peeps and some relief of guilt to parents.  We do want to meet with our friends but we only have so much energy and much of it is depleted by kids and home tasks, forcing us to be much more selective than we ever thought we would or want to be.  Some parents are more lax, others are more strict - similar to the different student types one would meet in high school or university.

Here's something that might help.  I'm not saying all parents are introverts but I think there is some overlap in how to interact with those who may seem more unavailable.  Even more so with actually introverted parents (like me!).  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I love my single/no-kid friends, but...

Just a short post here.  I've somehow always been a bit ahead of my friends in stages of life (although they've always had better jobs than me!) but it wasn't until I was married for 5 years and having my first kid that I realized that was why some relationships were strained.  I found that my priorities were always a bit different which meant that my time was spent differently, a reality my friends were fairly puzzled by.  I wish I handled it better back then but ah well, it's in the past and I didn't fully understand what was going on either.

For those of you who are experiencing an adjustment with friends who don't have kids, particularly those who are still single, take a look at this "Dear Carolyn" response.  Sorry if you have trouble reading it as I didn't have the time to type it up!  If you can read it, I hope it helps give you the words, perspective and strength to work on your friendships and make them last.  Sadly, I think I'll need to let go (yes, it's been almost a decade and I had thought, until recently, I could resurrect things to "the ways they were") and work on current and new friendships.

How about you?  Are there friends beginning to drift because your schedule and priorities have changed since becoming a parent?  Have you had a chance to address it?  What have you done to accommodate or gain understanding from your friends?

It's been a long (long time) - shouldna left you (left you, left you....frikki frikki)

That "frikki frikki" was my attempt at transcripting beat boxing, haha.  But as Aaliyah says, If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again...."

I won't try the beat boxing thing again but I will attempt - yet again - to resurrect this blog.  I've had loads of ideas for posts but it's been hard to get to them.  Since potty training, we've been dealing with our toddler getting up and out of bed for up to 2 hours after we put him to bed.  Average is 1.5 hrs.  1.5 hours, my dear parents.  This means our 8:30 pm bed time, which is already later than preferred, is actually a teaser and we don't get to breathe a sigh of relief till almost 10pm!  Moreover, this is after "falling back" for Daylight Savings Time, so we're actually gaining an hour over his previous 11pm clocking out. =X

And then there's the baby's growth spurts, wonder months, teething and what-have-you.  Then there are the things that need to get done - dishes, de-cluttering, unpacking online order arrivals (huge props to parents who bring their kids in-store to buy clothes!!) - and simply being near brain dead once the kids are both finally asleep.  I don't have much juice flowing to put pen to paper (words to blog?) nearing midnight!

Part of it is also performance anxiety.  I want my blog to be read!  But who wants to read the ramblings of a zombie-like mom who's pretending to be alive and humourous?  Especially when that zombie state of mind rears the ugly neurotic head.  Was that funny?  It was funny before, maybe it isn't now... I changed this paragraph, the funniness level had dropped... Do I reveal this?  Will I sound like a horrible mother?  Housekeeper?  Wife?  Will readers move on because I haven't tried enough to catch their attention??

Thankfully, I've decided not to let my hangups get the best of me, especially after reading an article about the worst types of Facebook posts.  I actually found nothing really wrong about the types of posts listed.  Yeah, they're annoying but who says you have to read them all?  Or give them much mind?  Or that those people are even out to make you feel insecure by "bragging" about their incredible weekend?  Status updates are just that: updates, not mini-entertainment bits for your reading pleasure.  If you're that annoyed by someone's posts, I take it you're more annoyed by the person and an assessment of friendship needs to be had.

On that note, I'll just post what comes to my mind in my life as a mom.  I may not have fancy pictures or a sleek interface with cute fonts, I may not always post fantastic tips or have the best review.  I do hope, though, that my corner of the Internet world sheds a bit of light on some parent's otherwise rainy day and perchance contribute to the parenting community at some point, simply by being me.  If I annoy you, just surf on by to the next blog.  It'll sting a bit but I'll be alright.  Gosh, you'd think I'd have learned that enough times through high school already!

Okay, enough with the rambling.  I'll wrap up here and work on my next post, which is a general review of our potty training results since September.  =D  Till then, fellow parent, hug your kids tight and treat yourself to a glass of wine.  If you're having chardonnay, please bring some over!