How to Take a Shower When Home Alone With a Baby

Most of us who stay home with the kids would hate to admit how often we are still in our pajamas in the afternoon…ahem. While I think “pajama days” are definitely one of the perks of being a stay at home mom, I’ve come to realize that I get more done on the days I shower before noon. Not to mention, I feel better. There’s something psychological that happens to me when I stay in my jammies too often. The funk sets in.

Before Asher came, it was easy. I’d turn on PBS for a few minutes and Jonah was occupied long enough for me to shower and get ready. Once Asher came, things got a little more tricky in the shower department. At first, big brother was NOT to be trusted. Jonah’s jealousy was so thick you could slice it. The boys needed a chaperone at all times. I learned my lesson one day when I left the room for a nanosecond and returned to a screaming baby and guilty preschooler. While much better, I’m still not confident in leaving them alone together for very long. Asher has also hit the stage where he notices if you leave him. And by “notices” I mean he cries.

So, what’s a mommy to do when a shower is needed, but you’re alone with a baby that needs to see you? You improvise. And somewhere between the “lightbulb moment” and the successful shower you realize that your all-time favorite tip for a new mommy was born.

How to Take a Shower When Home Alone With a Baby:

Stick the baby in something that will keep them safe and occupied. I currently use the bouncy seat.

Using a Binder Clip, clip the decorative shower curtain up so that you will be able to see the baby.

It should look something like this…

Hurry, break the record for the fastest shower ever before the baby starts crying! FYI: Shaving is out of the question.

Linking up with We Are That Family’s Works for Me Wednesday!

Organizing Children’s Books

books1

I have an insane amount of children’s books. I think most former teachers do. Until recently, they were boxed up because we really didn’t have the room for them. When I was looking for a specific book to use with Jonah, I would have to go digging and end up frustrated. It just wasn’t working for me, especially as I planned out “Mommy’s Official Preschool” and worked to transition us into a more structured learning time. Plus, the kid LOVES books and it was past time to rotate our book basket.

So, thanks to Ikea and their great prices, my books finally came out of hiding! This organization project was no small feat. I knew that it would drive me crazy if they weren’t organized into categories. In my Kindergarten classroom, that was the way they were organized, and my brain still works that way when I try to find a book. So, I purchased several sets of the Ikea Flyt Magazine Holders and put each of the categories in a separate holder.

book organization

So I sorted…

and sorted…

and sorted some more.

My books that had been hiding in the basement thanked me for letting them come out to play.

I found two tall bookcases at a consignment sale for a great deal and it was a match made in heaven!

The Summer Park Tour

Playground 1
We are blessed to live in an area that has tons of great parks. The problem is that we tend to frequent the same park because it is conveniently located near our home. Therefore, we hardly ever take advantage of the other parks available to us….which is a shame, because we REALLY have some awesome parks in Chattanooga! The past two years we’ve tried something that got us out and enjoying the other parks. I thought I’d share it with you in case you were needing something to get you out of the same rut I was in…or maybe you’d  just like to try something fun!

Introducing… The Summer Park Tour!

The Goal: Enjoy as many great parks as you can and rejuvenate your play time!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Make a list of all the parks in your area.
  2. Grab your calendar and choose atleast one day per week that could be “Park & Picnic” Day.
  3. Then, plug in the list of parks on the days marked “Park & Picnic” Days. (If you run out of parks, repeat your favorites!)
  4. Send out the calendar of “Park & Picnic” Days with the locations to your friends in hopes that they might join you at the park (It makes it easier if the kids have someone to play with and I always love having a little mommy talk!)
  5. On “Park & Picnic” Days, pack a picnic lunch, plenty of water and any other supplies you might need for the day (sunscreen, hats, sand toys, etc.)
  6. Head over to the designated park and play to your hearts content! Hopefully, a friend or two will join you, but if not, you’ll still have lots of fun!

The best thing about “The Summer Park Tour” is that it’s completely FREE!

http://happybrownhouse.com

Jonah & Aunt Rachel in the Coolidge Park fountain

Live in the Chattanooga area? Here’s a list of great parks to enjoy:

  • Coolidge Park (bathing suits to play in the fountains)
  • The “Pumpkin Patch” Park on Signal Mountain (well shaded!)
  • Red Bank Park (take sand toys)
  • Soddy Daisy “Scramble Alley” wooden park
  • Vandergriff Park in Hixson
  • Riverpark/Riverwalk
  • Chester Frost Park (bathing suits for the lake)
  • Warner Park
  • “Helicopter Park” in Soddy Daisy (walking track)
  • “Cherokee Passage” by the Aquarium (bathing suits!)
  • Imagination Station Playground (Collegedale/Ooltewah area)
  • Riverview Park ( on/near Benton Ave.)
  • and many more!!!! (Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list)

So tell me, would “The Summer Park Tour” work for you in your area?

Photo Credit: Insipidlife

Painted Flower Pots

I’ve got a new post up at Pennies and Blessings sharing how we brightened up our porch and someone’s day with painted flower pots. Be sure to take a look at how we did this on a tight budget!

My adorable little artist…

Frugal Friday: How I got $40 worth of books for FREE

FREE. It’s my favorite 4-letter word. Do you like it as much as I do?

Last night I placed an order on Amazon.com for $40 worth of books and didn’t have to pay for them. FREE. See, I said that word again.

Want to know my secret, too?

Swagbucks, baby.

Think about how often you search for something on the internet. What if you got “paid” for searching?

When you use Swagbucks, you can earn “bucks” or virtual dollars in your account. When you earn enough Swagbucks, you can trade in your “bucks” for prizes. My favorite prize is the $5 Amazon Gift Card for 450 Swagbucks.

You’re going to search the internet, why not earn prizes for it?

Search & Win

Ways To Earn More Swagbucks:

  • Download the Toolbar so you can search easily. Atleast once a day I earn a swagbuck just for having the toolbar downloaded.
  • Make Swagbucks your “Home Page” so you won’t forget to search.
  • Use Swagbucks to “search” for your favorite websites. No joke, my husband used the Swagbucks toolbar to search for Google this morning. He earned 10 Swagbucks. Instead of using a “Favorites” List in your browser to go to certain websites you frequently use, search for Facebook, Etsy, Happy Brown House, etc.
  • Redeem SwagCodes. If you follow Swagbucks on Facebook or Twitter, there are often codes you can enter to snag bucks.
  • Read the Swagbucks Newsletter. Even if you just scan through it really quickly, you might find a code for reading the newsletter.
  • Answer a Daily Poll Question.
  • Recycle an old phone through them and earn bucks.
  • Invite your friends and earn bucks.

Note: You won’t win Swagbucks for every search you do, but the more often you use Swagbucks, the better your chances of winning. Fridays are “Mega Swagbucks Days” and you can earn higher denominations.

Yeah, yeah. But does it really work?

Yes. You really do earn the prizes. I wouldn’t continue using it or tell you about it if it didn’t. I saved up my Amazon Gift Cards for a special book order I wanted to make, and have talked to others that used Swagbucks for their Christmas shopping!

Just think about the possibilities…Mommy & Me Activity Materials, Homeschool materials, Books, Electronics….for free.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and get searching!

Wondering what books I got for free?

(If you’re reading in Google Reader or through an email subscription, you’ll have to click through to see the widget. Sorry!)

Disclosure: This post includes my referral affiliate link. I will earn Swagbucks if you sign up under my link. Thanks in advance for using my referral link!

Budget Shopping: After-Christmas Sales

Confession: The majority of the presents under our tree this year were not bought in 2010.

Yes, they were brand new.

No, I didn’t pay a lot of money for them.

Want me to reveal my budget Christmas secrets?

I thought you would!

The key to being a Smart Budget Shopper is to always be on the lookout for great deals and steals. I often take advantage of After-Christmas Sales and start buying for the next year.  I don’t limit myself to just Christmas gifts. I often buy for birthday parties I know we’ll get invited to, teacher gifts for Parent’s Day Out, etc.

By purchasing gifts ahead of time…

  • I avoid the crowds of the mall
  • I eliminate impulse buying to meet the gift deadline
  • I always have something tucked away for an unexpected gift that I might need
  • Most importantly, I save my family money in the long run!

It’s the only way I shop.

One of my favorite After-Christmas Sales I’ll be taking advantage of….

I love Dayspring products! The Clearance section is incredible right now!

I love the Jesus is the Gift – Metal Tray. It’s only $7.49!

Jesus is the Gift - Metal TrayI have the 13.5″ Serving Platter – Jesus Is The Gift – John 3:16 and love it! It’s sitting on my mantle this very second! It’s only $8.49!

13.5And the Jesus is the Gift – Ribbon and Cross Ornament is only $1.75!  (75% off)

Jesus is the Gift - Ribbon and Cross OrnamentIf I had extra money to spend on a gift just for me, I would purchase the Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio. Just look at it…it’s on sale too!

Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio

While I was checking out the Dayspring site, I noticed they have FREE SHIPPING on orders of $50 or more (For US Residents only).

Enjoy the After-Christmas Sales!

Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, you help support our family’s adoption. I only promote products I personally use and love.

WFMW: Updating Passwords Online

I’ve learned this tip the hard way this week—my personal email was hacked. There are seriously crazy circumstances….some you wouldn’t believe if I told you. I won’t go into details publicly for the safety of everyone involved, but let’s just say a hacker is richer somewhere in the world and I’ve talked to the FBI. (A note to my email hacker: Shame on you! How dare you!)

And now a public service announcement….

Update your online passwords…often! (And a whole bunch of other online password safety tips we’ve all heard a million times, but never allow to sink in because it seems like such a hassle.)

If you use Google Calendar, you can set up reminders for recurring tasks. Decide how often you want to update your passwords and set the reminder!

If you don’t use Google Calendar, do this task with another of recurring event in your life to automatically remind yourself….like when paying bills or making the budget. Write it on your calendar, your mirror, your forehead. Heck, get a tattoo if that will help. Do something…anything to help you remember!

Thanks for listening to my public service announcement….back to our regularly scheduled programming :)

Linked to: Works For Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family my friends starting The Mercy House in Kenya.