Reminder Pad

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Congratulations! If you’re following my baby activity log, then your child has reached three months old, a big milestone for babies. Likely you’re finding that sleep cycles (for you and your child both!) are more predictable and longer than in the very early days.

More sleep means more memory, so you might be feeling less forgetful than in the very beginning… But now’s not the time to grow overly confident. You still have a very little child and things can get unpredictable and sleepless again quickly (i.e. during wonder weeks).

To head things off, I invested in a magnetic dry-erase pad for the fridge. Any magnetic pad would work fine, but I love the dry-erase aspect because I’m tired of seeing messy notes to myself like this:

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Now, I can write notes about the things that need to get done, and simply swipe away when done. This is fantastic when I remember something in the middle of a nighttime nursing session, or while juggling a million details by day.

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I love that I can also color-coordinate schedules by family member, so I can see everyone’s day in one place.

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In sum, this is another great tool in my ongoing quest to be as organized as possible. So get your own system up on the fridge, and jot away! Need to buy more diapers? Now you’ll remember. The baby last nursed at 6 o’clock? Now you’ll remember. The family has 3 engagements next Tuesday? Now you’ll remember.

What’s your favorite trick for remembering all the details in the sleepy infant days? Do share in the comments!

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Squeeze Your Own Juice

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In the February issue, Travis’s High Five magazine gave us pretend hot chocolate … But real orange juice! Travis had an absolute blast with this easy squeeze-your-own project.

First, he helped me peel two big oranges. He was very interested in the peel, and what it felt like, since normally I present him with oranges already cut up.

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Next he proudly put all the orange wedges into a large zip-top bag.

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Seal the bag tightly, making sure the air is out, and then squeeze! Travis went wild with the squishing and mushing.

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Once it looks like you have enough juice in the bag, place a strainer over a cup. Let the juice trickle into the cup, reserving the solids in the sieve. Travis was very pleased about this step, since he always tells people he doesn’t like orange juice with pulp.

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(Note: we found that it was easier to get the last of the juice out of the orange segments squeezing them directly in the strainer, rather than still in the bag).

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Time for a taste test!

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Travis loved it, deciding it was kind of sweet, and the freshest orange juice he’d ever tasted.

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Next we got a little scientific with the project, wondering what would happen if we squeezed a grapefruit instead. Travis surmised that since the grapefruit was bigger, we’d have more juice.

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Ding ding ding! He was correct.

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Thanks for the great burst of citrus on a cold winter’s day, High Five. This was such a neat way to show kids where their boxed juices come from.

Soda Teeth Experiment

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Need a way to discourage your kids from drinking dark, sugary sodas? If you’re having a hard time convincing them that it’s no good for their teeth, look no further than this science experiment.

If your children are old enough to have lost baby teeth, then that’s truly the best material for the activity; just make sure you play before the Tooth Fairy pays a visit, or they’ll be confused!

At only 4, Travis hasn’t lost any teeth, so we needed another material that would tarnish in soda like tooth enamel. The online suggestion was… eggs!

That means I need a little caveat before the post, because now it sounds very vegan-unfriendly. We also needed a can of Coke, and one of Sprite, two sodas we wouldn’t actually be drinking in our household anyway. But in the name of science, the sodas were purchased, and eggs were borrowed from my mother-in-law!

With that vegan caveat out of the way, it was time to be scientists. We filled one glass with Coke and another with Sprite.

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Travis was very curious about the eggs, so we checked them out before adding one to each cup.

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He loved seeing the way the sodas bubbled. “And that would hurt my teeth!” he surmised. He’s onto something…

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Then it was just a matter of waiting. We set up a chart, with a column for each soda and a row for each day we’d observe. This was a nice chance for Travis to practice writing his numbers.

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Every day, we used a big spoon to scoop out the eggs and observe. You can definitely break out the magnifying glass each day, too.

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The first thing he noticed was that the bubbles faded by Day 1. The eggs, however, had changed very little.

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By Day 2 we wondered: was the Coke egg a little darker?

Finally by Day 4 it was obvious; the coke had tarnished one egg. (Hopefully Travis’s take-away is not that he should drink lots of clear soda!).

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I reminded him that what we saw in the egg was similar to what we’d see in a tooth. So avoid sodas to avoid discoloration and decay.

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Overall, we liked the STEM aspect of this project, but I think it would have been clearer for him with real teeth. Perhaps we’ll have to do it again when he loses his first!

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