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I guess we’ll chalk this up to “Moving Brain” — if there is such a thing!

You’ve heard of “Baby Brain” before, but I think we need to coin a new term called “Moving Brain.” Because seriously? I have no idea where my brain cells are this week.

I came across quite a few outdated spices and other baking items which needed to be pitched while packing up the kitchen, so I had this “brilliant” idea to let the girls play they were “making muffins” with these baking items.

I sat them down on the kitchen floor with some plastic cups and spoons and let them have at it. It occupied them for a good hour or so and I was patting myself on the back for coming up with such a great form of frugal entertainment.

Then, I got busy with some unpacking somewhere and someone else got Silas up from his nap. Apparently, he wanted to help “make muffins,” too.

Unfortunately, my “brilliant” idea which kept the girls busy for an hour playing, also ended up taking me over an hour to fully clean up. While doing so, I quickly discovered that tile floors don’t mop up as easily as laminate. And I also became very familiar with all of our grout. 🙂

Next time, I think we’ll try experiments like this in the backyard!

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  • charity says:

    it sure can be funny and frustrating at the same time to see the aftermath of what kids can do….

  • Rae says:

    Aww lol that stinks.

  • I did that with leftover paint. I put them in old t-shirts outside and thought they would have blast painting old boxes.

    They had a blast alright and I spent more than an hour trying to get them cleaned up, they had paint head to toe and ruined my $20 shower curtain that I LOVED in the process of trying to clean them up.

    Yellow paint does not come out of shower curtains! 🙂

  • Sally says:

    Ahhhh, but the good memories that were made!

  • karen says:

    After my DD made ‘potions’ with $20 of spices, we limited her to baking soda and vinegar potions. Even if it get spilled (which is almost always does), it’s easy to clean.

    A friend of mine has a flour table–a shallow plastic tote that rests in a simple frame made of 2 by 4s. She put about three inches of flour in the plastic tote with toy cars, scoops, and spoons. OUTDOOR fun for everyone.

  • Michelle K says:

    So what did you use to get the grout clean? That’s always been a headache of mine!

  • Sue says:

    Will make for a good moving memory.

    However, I do think tile is much easier to clean and keep clean then laminate. At least the dirt can not get growned into the laminate where it always looks dirty. We had our floors re-done w/tile a few years ago and it is the best thing ever.

  • 🙂 You have quite the little artists!!

  • Olathe Mom says:

    It is comforting to know that I am not the ONLY one who invents “really amazing” frugal play then lives to regret it. 🙂

    Also, from the looks of things your 13/14 month old is every bit as busy as MY 14 month old. Made a trip to the bookstore this morning where the older three kiddos got new, free books. The “fun” for the youngest involved pulling most books off the shelf for the joy of flinging them. It certainly felt like a full-contact outing on my part! Ha! One-year-olds are so lovely, so sweet, and SO MUCH WORK! Kudos to you for having any brain left WHATSOEVER while moving with youngsters. It is a stretching experience, no?

  • Mary says:

    While I was busy “uncluttering and organizing” our home, DD found some old lipstick in a trashbag and drew a nice picture for mommy — on my living room wall. 🙂 We have a 17 month old, and another daughter due any day. While they are truly blessings from above, I do believe they are God’s way of testing our patience 🙂

    • alyssa says:

      I left my daughter on my bed to take a nap. She was so quiet I thought she was asleep-ha! She got into my purse and I now have lipstick marks on my lovely duvet cover. Gotta love your kids! 🙂

  • Meagan says:

    There has to be such a thing as moving brain! We moved a few months ago and out of shear desperation let my 4 year old have the packing peanuts and a small box to play popcorn in. Worked good until he decided the popcorn needed to be smaller…. little bitty pieces of foam and long shag carpet do not go together!

    Oh yeah, as Karen mentioned, I’ve had to deal with a few spice accidents too!

    I bet they had a great time though and will have a good memory of the new house. 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    This post made me laugh out loud. My children are very similar ages as yours. After seeing the first pic, I thought, “I hope Silas doesn’t try to join the fun!” The second pic looked very familiar to messes we have had at our house. Too funny.

  • Great way to break in a new house, huh?

  • motherof3nc says:

    Kids had fun!!! That’s all that matters!
    One trick I have learned was every bit of food that comes into the house gets what we call “The Sharpie treatment” Expiration dates are marked on the front of everything! Easy to see and then you can keep track of what needs to be used first!

  • dee says:

    They do grow up! I had to laugh at your post because we had similar experiences – eons ago. The oldest is 24 and my youngest is 19 now. I’ll take adolescents over toddlers any day. 😉 My back hurts when I see toddlers now. I look back and wonder how I had the energy.

    • Anitra says:

      @dee, My mother has watched me with my toddler and remarked, “you never had that much energy when you were a toddler – I never could have kept up!”

      But even now at 70 years old, she CAN keep up with my almost-2-year-old… for short periods of time, at least!

  • Crystal says:

    I picked up one of those cheap vinyl table cloths, and i always throw it down whenever we get out messy stuff like that. It has saved me a ton of cleanup, it’s covered with paint, and I won’t cringe when I have to throw it away one day and get another one!

    But it is discouraging when our distractions somehow eat up as much time as they bought us.

    • Cystal,
      That is very clever, much cheaper than those “baby floor” covers I have seen for $20 plus dollars.

      • Angie says:

        @Marisa Stone O’Brien, I had gotten one of those baby floor covers as a shower gift when I was pregnant. My daughter is now 8 and we still have it and use it often, though for the past several years, it has served as a cover for the table when she is working with paints or glue…or anything messy! All it have to do it spray it down with the hose when she is done and hang it over the deck railing to dry. It is starting to get to the end of its life though, so I will have to get one of those table cloths soon!

  • Bethany says:

    Things like this are an everyday occurence in my house. :p

  • Jenae says:

    That’s boys for you! What girls will keep nice and tidy…boys will make a mess of. 🙂

    I, for one, cannot stand tile floors. I would much rather have wood, laminate, linoleum, or carpet! But one thing I did find that has been a LIFESAVER in cleaning tile floors is a steam mop. It does a great job cleaning and it doesn’t use any chemicals to clean the floors, so it is super-safe for your babies to crawl on. This is the one I have:
    (although you may want to check around on prices or wait until it goes on sale. It was $59 when I bought mine).

  • Michelle says:

    If you have lots of tile in your new house, or lots of hard flooring, you might want to consider the Hoover Floor Mate. We have lots of hard flooring (laminate, tile and linoleum) and it cleans everything up so nice and it’s easy to use.
    I had been using a mop before and got this as an x-mas present. I thought I was getting the floors clean before with the mop but when I saw what the cleaner picked up that the mop left behind I was a complete convert. Keeps everything very clean which is important to me with little kids on the ground who put everything in their mouth’s. Honestly our tile shines after using it which it never did with a mop, I just stood there amazed the first time I used it.

  • sarah says:

    my sister and i used to do that all the time! (i’m now 25 and she’s 20.) except we’d do it when babysitters were over… oh my… and then we’d actually eat our creations. so gross! basically just a lot of sugar and random stuff thrown together, and sometimes baked. i have no idea what those babysitters were thinking! haha 🙂 at least you got pics of it!

  • Rachel says:

    Thanks for the laugh! I’ve got a 5, 3, and nine month old . . . so my day for these kind of messes is almost here, again! Oh the joys of mobile toddlers!!

  • What a funny story! 🙂

  • Jenapher says:

    Next time, lay out something like an old blanket or towel for them to do it on, then the mess won’t end up on the floor at least. 🙂

  • Janice says:

    Tile + grout = evil!! We got rid of our tile and bought some of that really nice vinyl flooring that matches the color of the Georgia clay that is constantly being tracked in! My blood pressure has gone down since we did it!! Good luck with settling in!

  • Kelly Welch says:

    Got a delightful laugh from your story! As someone who has remodeled a lot of properties (but hasn’t made it to her own house….YET!) you might want to buy some grout sealer and reseal it—it needs to be done every couple of years or so. And the baby brain thing…….we used to call it the pregnancy brain drain! God bless you all in your new home!

  • Lea says:

    They are so adorable!!! OK… I searched but couldn’t find – somehow I must have missed the second half of your house hunting story as it appears you have already moved!!! (CONGRATULATIONS!!!)

    Can you please direct me to the post, your story has been such an inspiration to me, and has helped convince my husband and I that our current space doesn’t have to be used traditionally, it is big enough right now and more than functional if we just think a little out side of the box.

  • Lauren says:

    My mom used to give my brother & I each a can of cheap shaving cream and let us sit on the kitchen table and do what we liked with it. It kept us busy for quite a while and 25 years later I still remember it fondly. Hey, there’s a way to use up all the free shaving cream we get couponing!

  • Leah says:

    I second the suggestion to seal your grout- it is easy to do, although tedious. Use a foam brush and a container of grout sealer from a home improvement store. Sealing it will prevent stains and liquids from being soaked up- a nice waterproofing layer. I did this a few months after moving into our new house, it is well worth it. Put a few extra coats on the areas that will receive the most traffic.

  • Lana says:

    My youngest three finger painted the sliding glass doors with chocolate pudding cups when they were 1,2 and 3. It had dried on before I found it-what a mess to clean up!

  • Emily says:

    You should have seen my kitchen table and floor when my boys and I tried to do roll out cookies! yikes!

    Next time maybe confine them to the table or set up a beach towel or sheet on the floor for them to work on. That way you can shake it off outside and they still get to play in the A/C.

  • Melissa says:

    Throw rugs in a kitchen are wonderful! I am kinda a messy cook(klutz) and when my children help it’s even worse! I just throw the rugs in the wash once a week, and vacuum and voila! My kitchen looks warm and put together with the only other decorations being my mixer, spices, and some candle holders for the occasional blackout/date night at home….and they are a definite plus for toddlers who like to chase each other around the island in socks – no slipping!

  • Christina says:

    The best thing that has ever cleaned my tile floors is a haan slim & light floor mop. Use to spills would have to be cleaned with a mop several times before all the sticky went away, but not any more! The steam mop does it in one try without the dirty mop water too!!! I love my steam mop, it is a must have for tile floors!

  • Amy says:

    We installed ceramic tile BEFORE we had kids. It is very hard to keep clean and if a glass falls on it and breaks it goes into a million pieces. The upside is that it last a long time.

  • Kassandra says:

    Story of my life! Those are the moments when you sit back and laugh…. 😀 And then write it down in your Mommy notebook of memories to refer back to during the teenage years…. he he

  • Kim says:

    I use a Magic Eraser to clean the grout between my floor tiles, no elbow grease needed, rub and wipe away the grime! Works great EVERY time!

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