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Alternate Uses for Otherwise Thrown Away Packaging

If you’re using disposable diapers then you’ve probably sent countless empty wipes containers and diaper boxes to the recycle bin on trash day. Or maybe you’ve just redecorated baby’s room and have some empty plastic zipper bags from the new window treatments and bedding. There are always those teensy tiny diapers and baby clothes that get grown out of at light speed that may be hanging around waiting for a new purpose. Well, wait no further. Here are some ideas on how you can reuse all of these items.

Let’s start with all the packaging that collects from using diapers. If you’re buying them in bulk then you’ve probably collected some empty cardboard boxes. Before you cut and flatten them for recycling, think “outside the box.” When baby begins to crawl, she’s going to love making her way through a tunnel. Simply open the flaps of the box so they are a straight extension of the sides. Using packing tape or other heavy duty tapes, secure them in this upright position. Now, turn the box upside down and cut out holes for baby to crawl in and out of. These boxes can then be decorated and lined up to make an adventurous tunnel for baby to explore. These empty boxes also make great storage boxes for toys. They are both big enough to house several of baby’s favorite toys yet small enough to grab and go in the car as take along entertainment for baby while visiting a friend or relative’s house.

If you’re purchasing diapers by the bag, don’t throw it away empty. Instead line a waste basket with it and use it as a trash bag. At the very least, package up a messy diaper in it before tossing it into the garbage barrel.

It is so convenient to purchase wipes in those wonderful plastic boxes. You may accumulate several of these plastic containers from baby shower gifts or your own purchases. They have so many uses after their main function has ended, that is they are not being used to house baby wipes anymore. Most of these uses won’t show themselves until baby gets a bit older, but when the need appears these containers may seem invaluable. Think crayon box, marker box, pencil box or sticker box. These are also great for keeping marbles, small plastic animals or cars organized. Flash cards fit perfectly in these containers as well. The possibilities are endless.

Other great convenience items are the plastic bags that arrive complete with a zipper that may have once held window curtains or blankets and bedding. The smaller bags, such as packaging for window curtains work great for keeping a quick change of clothes in to keep in the car. They also work great to hold small toys and crayons. The bigger bags are great for blankets and blocks. Yes, I said blocks. It has been my experience that packaging for those larger building blocks doesn’t always hold up well after repeated opening and closing. Having a replacement bag is a great idea.

Now to something that is not packaging, but is something that seems to lose its need very quickly. Those tiny diapers and clothes that baby outgrows within the first month or so will become the focus of play when baby grows into a toddler and preschooler. She will enjoy putting the clothes on her dolls or stuffed animals and the diapers add to the realism of play. It’s especially helpful when she learns about using the potty. Her “babies” will have the diapers on while she trades them in for big girl underwear.

The idea is to rethink before tossing not only the items purchased, but also the packaging that the items arrive in. With a little creative thinking you’ll be able to discover several alternative uses for common items in your home.

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Meditation to Soothe a Stay At Home Mom’s Soul

If the time arises when you’re quietly holding your content infant in your arms and can’t help but feel a sense of love and peace surround you both, take advantage of this moment with a quick meditation that may benefit you both.

Safety is first. Be sure that there is no way your baby can fall if you should relax to a point that you could let go of her. Having your baby in a carrier that straps to your body is best. This meditation has healthful benefits and should not cause any physical injury. If baby is asleep in a crib or swing, simply sit as close to the baby as possible.

Relax. Turn off the TV and enjoy the quiet stillness. Close your eyes. Any thoughts that may be racing through your mind should be put to rest for this time. Your mind should be quiet.

Smile. Know that you’re in the presence of a miracle, your baby. Revel in the thought of how special you and your baby are to have created such a miracle. Imagine all the cute faces your baby makes along with the cooing sounds and giggles. Then imagine all of the wondrous things to come as baby grows and develops. Smile knowing that you’ll be there to witness every milestone you can while doing everything in your power to help baby achieve all it can.

Understand. Try to understand that while your baby is learning new things from you and the world around it, you are also learning new things from your baby. Understand that while your baby may get frustrated when it is unable to solve a problem or accomplish a task, you too may also get frustrated when you’re unable to accomplish a goal.

Forgive. The ability to forgive you for not being perfect is priceless. The house will not be spotless all of the time. The laundry will pile up unexpectedly. Gourmet meals do not always find their way to the dinner table every night, and sometimes not at all. This is normal and once you forgive and accept that you are doing all that you are capable of doing, you may find peace.

Smile, again. Relax, again. Enjoy the quiet time you have left with further contemplation or a simple cup of tea.

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Stay At Home Mom’s Tools for Survival

Taking on the task of a Stay At Home Mom is not as easy as it may sound. The responsibilities are endless and on demand around the clock and mostly performed with little to no sleep. A new baby needs to be fed, bathed, entertained by books or simple activities and let’s not forget the constant diaper changes. Although these items seem easy enough to perform, they are by far not the only responsibilities of a stay at home mom.

Even while the new baby is sleeping there are still jobs to be done around the home. Laundry for instance, is constant along with washing dishes and bottles. There is also the matter of making sure the household bills are paid on time, groceries are bought, dinner is made for the rest of the family and the home maintains a level of cleanliness that is comfortable for the family.

To lessen the stress of these day to day requirements, organize and prioritize! Get out a pen and paper and write down all the activities that need to be done while baby is sleeping. Try not to leave out anything, even the smallest task may take a few precious minutes that seem unavailable to grab a hold of. Once written, look long and hard at each one and rewrite the list in order of priority with the most important task taking the top spot. This is the task that gets done first when baby naps during the day. Keep working down the list while baby is sleeping and if the list is finished before baby wakes, congratulations! If not, put the list aside and dedicate time to baby until the next nap time. Working in this way will make sure that the most important daily chore always gets done and if any don’t get done during the day it’s not a calamity because they weren’t a priority to begin with. The list may carry out to the next day and then cycle back to the top when finished.

Time management is the most useful skill in being a stay at home mom. Sometimes this requires dinner to be prepared and in the oven during the baby’s afternoon nap at 1:00 pm and then reheated when the family is ready to eat. It may become the norm for laundry to be in the washer at 4:00 am after baby’s early morning feeding when it’s just too late for mom to go back to sleep. Compromises are made every day but the most important thing is to eliminate as much stress over the everyday tasks as possible.

Is there any time left for mom? Finding that sweet spot during the day where the Universe seems to align and a relaxing shower or bath can be taken in peace is priceless. It is this time alone, attending to only her that helps in recharging a positive mindset. Other ways to uplift a tired spirit may be as simple as a cup of tea, meditation or keeping a journal of the day’s experiences. Time alone for mom is extremely limited, but making the most of those available moments during the day can make the mundane tasks like laundry seem less of a hassle.

While baby is awake and ready to play, singing and dancing are wonderful ways to make mom and baby smile. A great way to do this is to hold baby close while making slow fluid movements. Singing a favorite song while dancing may take mom’s mind off of any current tensions, if only for a few minutes at a time. Baby will love the closeness to mom and the movements and sound of the dance and song.

Soon more time will be available as baby develops a routine and sleeps for longer periods at a time. Until then, try not to stress over chores. Organize, prioritize and spend every moment possible building a loving bond with the new baby.

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Utilizing Color Beyond Decoration

Feeling a bit out of sorts lately but just unable to put a finger on the issue? Maybe you’ve got an important meeting or function to attend and you want to have a better sense of confidence in yourself. Or are you having a difficult time relaxing to fall asleep at night? Whatever the reason, changing the color of an outfit or room d├ęcor may be just the solution.

The use of color in daily life may help in achieving a certain mood or feel. From maintaining focus to simply lifting your spirit, surrounding yourself with the appropriate hue may help. There are some people that believe each color carries its own vibration or energy that may be felt by those around that color. For instance, a room decorated in soothing greens and earthy browns may have a very calm and relaxing feel while another room accessorized in orange tones has a sense of energy and stimulation. Want to change how you feel in a certain space? Try changing the color scheme to match the desired mood.

Understanding each color’s energy is the first step in making color choices for your space. You may notice that each color holds more than one type of energy and may be used in different ways. Take advantage of this by making different combinations of hues to fit your personal tastes.

Comforting colors that heal and sooth work well for spaces such as bedrooms or living areas. These colors include shades of brown, green, blue, gray, and white. These colors have additional energies beyond healing. Green carries with it energy of prosperity, success and fertility. Blue symbolizes honor, loyalty and wisdom and also aids in sleep. Gray neutralizes any negativity leaving a peaceful feel. White is also very peaceful and a great color for meditating. Brown is a perfect color for household pet areas.

If your goal is to stimulate energy and the senses, go with tones of orange, yellow, red and purple. Orange carries with it one energy and that is to stimulate energy. Use this color in spaces where energy is necessary such as the kitchen. Yellow carries with it a feel of confidence, attraction and charm but is also great for study and stimulating the intellect. Red is a very passionate color and tends to boost confidence, willpower, physical strength and courage. Purple has a feel of power, success and independence and is also great for meditating.

Black may be desired as an accent color for its ability to absorb negativity. Try using black accent pillows on a living room couch to remove any negative thoughts that may be lurking around while you’re trying to relax. Black also works well in the bedroom as the color of bed sheets to lull you into a peaceful sleep without harboring negativity from the day’s stresses. If you’re not a big fan of black, cover it up with decorative bedding so it will be your secret. Black also works well for meditation.

The metallic colors of silver and gold also carry with them their own energy. Their properties are ironically helpful during the holiday season with characteristics of encouragement, stability and removal of negativity for silver and all things relating to the sun for gold. Holiday decorations often times have these colors which may help us get through any stress or difficult times along with making up for the lack of sunshine during our day.

Color may be used in unlimited combinations to achieve a desired mood. Look beyond the norm and go with your gut feeling on how each color makes you feel. Wearing your favorite color may truly make you feel better throughout the day.

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Visualization Technique for Easing Crib Side Detachment for both Mom and Baby

It’s time to put baby down in its crib for a nap. You pick baby up off of the floor that you’ve been playing on, hold baby close and slowly make your way into the baby’s room. The shades are drawn and the crib is ready with whatever gives your baby comfort while sleeping. Standing next to the crib, still holding baby, you’re trying to feel that perfect moment to detach. There it is. Slowly, trying not to make any sudden movements that would startle the baby from its drowsy state, you lower the sleepy baby into the crib until finally you can feel the mattress under your hands. Smoothly, you slide your hands out from under the baby. Success is so close you can taste it, but as soon as you turn your back to the crib to leave the room, it happens. Baby is screaming! What do you do?

You could simply walk out of the room, shut the door behind you and wait patiently right outside the door listening to each and every sound the baby makes knowing that soon sleep will take over. More often than not this works, at least it did in my case. However I did feel a great sense of detachment from my baby and wished that I could be closer to sooth and calm rather than standing outside of the closed door. I decided that there must be a better way, a way that mom and baby could detach and yet still feel connected enough to ease any anxiety.

Going with what felt right at the time, I stumbled upon a method that proved to make the transition from my arms to the crib an easier one for both of us time and time again. It involves mostly a visualization technique and requires mom to be calm and relaxed knowing that this will work.

The first step is to determine when baby is sleepy and ready for a nap. Such signs to be on the lookout for are glazed eyes, yawning, sucking on fingers or thumb, red cheeks and crying. When baby is tired it will look for a way to comfort itself, which is where the sucking on fingers or thumb come in. Baby may prefer a pacifier instead. If baby is unable to comfort itself, or simply has not realized how yet, crying is the next best thing. By crying, baby will get comfort from you.

Follow normal routine before nap. This may include feeding or simply singing a favorite lullaby. Also make sure that baby has a clean diaper. If baby prefers to be swaddled in a blanket, do that as well.

Now you’re on your way to the baby’s room. Have the room ready for sleep so that there is nothing more to be done besides putting the baby in the crib and walking out. There is nothing more distracting than trying to get shades drawn or a mobile playing while you’re trying to get baby into sleep mode.

Standing at crib’s side, hold baby close to you. With your eyes closed, feel and see a warm blanket embracing both you and baby in a soft soothing color. Continue to hold baby close until this visualization is so strong you can almost feel the fibers of the blanket. Slowly visualize the blanket separating from you but still embracing baby. Know firmly in your mind that this security blanket will keep baby feeling safe and close to you during sleep. Keep up the visualization as you put baby in the crib.

This method helped in giving me a sense of calm in putting my baby in for a nap knowing that my baby had our “security blanket” for comfort.

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Quick Pick Me Ups for Mom

When the day begins at the crack of dawn and the feeling that there’s so much to do and such little time starts to creep up in your mind, take a deep breath, literally. Feeling overwhelmed is easy and it’s even easier to bring down your mood so much that it carries throughout the day and never seems to shake off. At the very onset, close your eyes and use these techniques to help bring your thoughts back to a happier state.

Quick Mood Lifter
Take a deep breath. While holding it in, close your eyes and smile big. Better yet, smile huge! Count backwards from 10 while exhaling slowly. At the end of the exhale, still smiling, open your eyes. Continue to smile for as long as possible.

The Five Second Makeover
Depending on how your home is decorated, be aware of all reflective objects that you walk by during the course of your day. For instance, you probably walk past the bathroom mirror several times a day. How do you look at yourself when you see your reflection? Are you pleased with your reflection? Do you scowl at imperfections? Do you ignore your presence all together? The next time you run into the bathroom for anything, take a look at yourself in the mirror, smile and say a positive phrase to your reflection. Examples would be, “I am beautiful”, “Blessed be” or “I can overcome.” If a phrase doesn’t come to mind, try a simple gesture that makes you feel special. Some to try include blowing yourself a kiss, smiling or looking very satisfied at your reflection. After just a day or two of complimenting yourself each time you see your reflection, you will start to feel quite happy with how you look and also feel better about yourself.

Standing Tall
Inhale deeply while reaching your hands high above your head. Stretch out your entire body all the way down to your feet standing up on your toes. Exhale slowly bring your arms fluidly down to your sides and lower your feet to flat on the floor. Repeat until a sense of renewed energy fills you.

Never underestimate the power of a smile. It will make you feel better inside while doing it and it will make those around you feel better and want to smile with you. Misery loves company, that’s true. So why invite negativity into your life when you’re trying to be positive. Smile and dismiss the misery.

The Smell of Citrus
Have some citrus fruits on hand for a quick sniff to lift your spirits. The smell of citrus may give you an energy boost as well. If eaten, the fruit makes a healthy snack full of vitamin C that will provide the power to push through any tasks at hand. Vitamin C will also aid in preventing you from catching a cold and keeping you on the couch. But then again, who has time to stay on the couch all day anyway?

Drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water daily will do more than make your body work more efficiently; it will keep your mood at an even keel as well. Mild dehydration may cause headaches, muscle cramps and constipation. None of these symptoms will help you boost your spirits into a better mood so why have them in the first place. Grab a glass of water and drink to your health and happiness.

The most important thing is to know that there is time enough to get everything on your “to do” list done. All tasks will find themselves accomplished, whether it be under stress or not. Look around and take stock in all of the “already done’s” if you need a little inspiration.

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