Weekend Catchup: highlights from the week of 4/11/11

Weekend Ketchup! Our Weekend Catchup saunters in on Sunday morning this week. It, and I, are moving at a relaxed pace, soaking in the energy of beautiful New Orleans while attending the Mom 2.0 Summit. I'm on a plane today, pondering everything I've learned (or should I say digesting, given how much I've eaten this weekend?).

Here's what happened at Parent Hacks earlier this week:

Free range balance: walking the line between freedom and informed parenting: Fascinating conversation about the tension many of us feel between giving our kids independence and keeping them safe and/or staying informed about their lives. Two commenters won a copy of Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy.

Stick to your budget by paying with gift cards: Smart way to stick to a cash budget with the convenience of plastic.

Collapsible baby wipe packages work better than travel wipe containers: If you've got kids in diapers, this simple hack changes your life. If you've ever run out of wipes while on the road, you know what I mean. In the comments, PHers also suggest storing wipes in Ziplocs.

Feed your baby in the baby bathtub…in the sink: Because it's messy!

Reuse long birthday candles: cut the tips! No need to keep re-buying birthday candles, assuming you can find them when you need them! Bonus hack: right now, identify the home in your kitchen for the birthday candles, and put them there.

Baking soda deodorizes a mattress after a stomach flu disaster: Parenting. It's glamorous. Baking soda helps.

You can do it: grow a vegetable garden: A call to arms for anyone yearning to grow a little food. It's easy, and you don't have to plant full-scale crops to do it.

Homemade garden plant markers: Lots of great pointers. Thank you, Twitter and Facebook followers, for your help finding these gems.

Pantry dinner that brings back memories: Indian hard boiled egg curry: Three ingredients, delicious dinner. 

High protein and kid-friendly: Cheese and Potato Crustless Quiche: Good for any meal of the day, including late-night snacks straight from the fridge.

Twitter and Facebook highlights:

@liasynthis suggested using magnetic alphabet letters on the dishwasher to indicate clean or dirty dishes.

@Caron suggested getting a relcutant toddler to wash his hands by giving him a toy to "bathe."

@espringer asks her independent 3 year-old to hold her hand while crossing the street so she — Mom — won't fall down.

On the Parent Hacks Facebook page,

As always, love your hacks flowing in via email, Twitter and Facebook.

See you Monday!

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