The tricky thing for me about blogging sometimes is that I think about something I want to write about and then I forget! But, I thought of 2 things this morning...
1) Cloth Napkins. We have a basketful. Instead of using paper napkins like I grew up with, we use cloth napkins at our meals. The kids do, too. Have you ever noticed that there are some meals that you don't use your napkin at all, but if it's paper--you still throw it away? Using cloth napkins for me is more about not using up trees and paper, but it also changes the look and feel of our table. It seems nicer some how. Before we had kids, I always had to set out matching napkins on the table. Now that we have 3 little ones, I'm doing good to get the napkins on the table and my husband has gotten used to them not matching if I don't have time to think about it--which I usually don't. Oh, but back to what happens if you don't use the napkin at the meal. If you're using a cloth napkin and you haven't used it, you can either leave it on the table (if you don't have a dog who will pull it off like we do) or set it back in the pile to use for the next meal. Anyways, that's what we do =)
2) Little girls' nightgowns: Until kids are about 3 and are doing well with being potty trained through the night, I found that we really have to change their pajamas every day. They can't wear them every day because they smell--I don't mean to be gross. But, I'll be honest, I just put Eli in a onesie for him to sleep in at this point. At about 1 1/2-2 years old is when I start putting them in pajamas. Pajamas are quite expensive when you need multiple pairs, I think. My favorite pj's for little kids are Gap PJ's from the outlets and Old Navy second, but I don't usually like the designs as well. I always watched for the clearances at the stores and outlets. Pajamas don't tend to wear very well, but the Gap or Gap outlet ones hold up enough to go through multiple children. The other reason I really like them is the design. My children never have been able to wear the ones with feet. But, the Gap ones are gathered at the bottom of the legs and are 2 pieces with elastic around the middle (good for skinny or round children). My children are round and short =) I like Carter's and their equivalents at Target and Walmart, but the arms were always a lot tighter and I ran into big problems with that for Sami when she was 2-3.
But, when they turn 3/or are potty trained well, they can start wearing pajamas for more than one night. This was the trick I found that worked for my girls. They were so in the habit of putting their nightclothes in the dirty clothes that they wouldn't save them for the next night. So, I found them each a nightgown that they really liked--Strawberry Shortcake for Sami and Ariel for Autumn. Character pajamas/nightgowns are about $12-15. I was lucky enough to find the Strawberry Shortcake NWT at a garage sale and the Ariel one barely worn for $1.50. Yay! I was so thankful. When I got those two nightgowns, the girls quickly changed their habits and remembered because they wanted to wear their nightgowns the next night, so they put them under their pillows instead of in the dirty clothes hamper.
But, anyways, if you buy 2 for each child and they wear them 2-3 nights, they're washed by the time they're ready for the other one. Another option for summer nightgowns for girls that worked for Autumn this summer was a light Hawaiian sundress that I found at a garage sale. Last summer, I got the girls some bigger girls' shirts and they used them as nightgowns, that was another way that I saved money on their nightgowns, but Sami wasn't potty trained then so I needed more of them and that worked out well.
And by the way, yes, I know that there are labels inside true pajamas about whether or not clothes are for kids to sleep in, but what I realized when my kids were babies is that they take naps in their clothes anyways-- so why wouldn't be okay for Eli to sleep at night in his onesie =) I just make sure there aren't any buttons that could come off in the night and be a choking hazard when I put him down for a nap or down to sleep.
So, those are my random thoughts this morning =)