Category Archives: children

Teach Your Kids To Do Laundry (Even Before They Can Read!)

Lately when visitors to our home have noticed our chore charts on the wall, many have been surprised to see “wash laundry” and “fold laundry” listed on my boys’ charts. That’s right. My 6 & 5 year olds are in charge of their own laundry, and the younger one isn’t yet a reader. 🙂 It is possible! When I added laundry to their lists several weeks ago, I was optimistic, but still had doubts that it would actually work. I have not been disappointed!

So how does it work?

My husband has said for a long time he wanted our kids to do laundry when they were old enough, but I was terrified of my “lay flat to dry” items ending up three sizes smaller from a trip through the dryer. To avoid that, I decided the boys would just do their own for now, especially since only one of them can read.

First, I got one laundry basket for their room, and assigned them each a day – Monday and Thursday. My boys are about the same size and share pretty much all of their clothes. This made the chore a bit easier. I also have a front load washer and dryer set. That definitely makes the process more doable for kids.

Next, I drew stars on the washing machine to show them the correct settings. Yes, it’s that simple. Little black stars beside each setting show the boys which buttons to push whether or not they can read it and make remembering each time a non-issue.
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I rinsed out an old stain remover bottle, marked it for them, and filled it with laundry detergent. I did this because I use larger bottles which are too heavy for them to pour.

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Then I just gathered the boys in the bathroom, and showed them how to do it. Of course the first couple of weeks, I walked them through the steps each time and helped them remember which opening to pour the detergent in, how much to use, etc. They caught on quickly though!

After washing and drying each load, they are also expected to fold and put it all away. For items that belong in their brother’s drawers, they fold them and lay them on his bed.

And that’s it! Now I only have to occasionally remind them to switch their load if they aren’t around to hear the washing machine end, and make sure they do put it away, not leave it in the basket in the living room for 2 days. But who would do that?? 😉

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Filed under children, cleaning, organization, raising boys

The tragic death of Rosie Roomba

When you entered my life 6 months ago, I was excited, yet uncertain of you. I was sure I didn’t deserve you, but my husband insisted. I half-jokingly nicknamed you Rosie, just like the Jetson’s robot. I had no idea how much I would love you. Immediately, you made yourself right at home in our home, scurrying from one room to the next. We quickly became friends; you were such a great helper – always scooting through our rooms, cleaning our messes and allowing me to focus more time on other things. I am so grateful for all you did.

Then that fateful Tuesday evening arrived. It was a good day, a day like any other. I had busied myself in the kitchen to prepare a meal for my family, as you busied yourself cleaning up our afternoon mess. The children were helping by preparing their own cups of water. You were just going about your business, and she about hers. I promise it was an accident. She meant no harm. A drowning was certainly not on the agenda, but as she approached the table, you were leaving the table and that cup of water went right on your face. I think the world stopped for a few seconds. I tried to save you. I rushed for a towel. You were rushed to the kitchen and rested in dry rice. I even added more rice the next morning. We tried our best. Unfortunately, it was your time to leave us.

So I sadly say goodbye to my dear friend, Rosie the Roomba. You will be greatly missed.

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RIP Rosie March 19, 2015 – September 15, 2015

 

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just another day in paradise

I’ve seen this at least 50 times, and I love it no less.

My toddler ate all my gum this morning while I cooked breakfast to retaliate for me making her stop digging in the freezer and putting the ice cream back. (I know it was in retaliation because she proudly waltzed into the kitchen with the last half stick in her hand, opened her mouth wide, and said, “I eat all your gum,” with a very devious ‘what are you going to do about it’ grin.)

Then she colored on the walls with my orange highlighter I’ve been missing for a week.

And unrolled all the toilet paper.

I also found a plate of half-eaten food (and a lego man) in our stack of folded blankets tucked under the hall table.

And my husband just called to say he’s working late.

And I texted him this afternoon to say that I dozed off watching a science video with the boys today during our school lessons.

And our oldest has a 1 1/2 hour baseball practice this evening.

Unfortunately the nearest Starbucks is an hour away. Sonic will have to do.

I’m really glad God gave me a good sense of humor and pretty weather today.

And caffeine. 🙂

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Changing Seasons

A couple of weeks ago I was cooking supper when I looked out the window to see if my husband was home yet, when I realized the sun was still shining at five o’clock. I was so happy I texted my group text girls to tell them. The days had been getting longer, but I had failed to notice it until that moment.

I was reminded of that this morning when I took this picture of my oldest son and his 2 year-old sister.

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Four years ago, when I had just a 1 year old and an infant, I could not imagine this day. I was surviving moment by moment, day by day, praying my oldest didn’t hurt his brother (again) or destroy the house (again) while I fed his baby brother. I have a Facebook album dedicated to the disasters my boys created in those early years of chaos – flour and sugar poured all over my kitchen, foods smeared, bookshelves completely emptied. Repeatedly. Walls scribbled on. Repeatedly. In those moments, I couldn’t see a day in my future when I would not have a daily shenanigan to share. But here we are. Now I have a 5 year old that can pick up the baby when she’s crawling toward the fireplace, fix bagels and milk, and read to his sister. I have a 4 year old that can feed the animals, entertain himself with Legos for an hour, and play outside without running to the road every single time. (He still can’t resist a mud puddle, even in 30 degree temperatures. lol) My boys no longer empty every drawer of clothes in their bedroom. (However, their little sister does it for them at every opportunity. Ha!) Those 2 under 2 may still be occasionally creating chaos and making messes at 5 and 4, but they’re also big enough to clean up those messes. 😊  Oh what a difference a few years makes.

Take heart mamas of littles. The seasons change slowly, but one day you will look up from your work, and the sun will be shining at five o’clock.

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Tball Begins & a Call for Slow Cooker Recipes

Our schedule got a little more hectic in the last couple of weeks with the start of tball. Our two sons are playing on the same team, and last night was their first game!

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Daddy has turned into an extra coach. With 3-5 year olds, it’s all hands on deck.

But with the extra time being taken up by games and practices, meal planning has become a bit more challenging. That’s where you come in. 🙂 I need more slow cooker recipes or easy prepare-ahead meals! Pinterest is full of ideas but I’d like to see what my readers love for ball game nights (or dance or gymnastics or piano or church – whatever your kiddos are involved in). Leave a comment with a link to a yummy and easy meal your family enjoys.

And here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy.

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Filed under daily adventures, Food & Drink, raising boys

T-Ball 2014

My little boys are super excited. Monday marked the day they had been waiting for and talking about for weeks – their very first t-ball practice.
It went surprisingly well, especially considering just a couple of days before Stanton wanted almost nothing to do with playing t-ball in our yard with his daddy. It was a different story on Monday though, and they were both excited to be there.

 

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How did this happen?

I’m not sure what it is about t-ball that makes it seem so different, makes them seem so much older all of a sudden. Lincoln played soccer last Fall, but it wasn’t the same. Maybe it’s because they’re both playing? Or maybe it’s because  they’ve been practicing with their daddy in the front yard while I watched from the porch this past week. Either way, I feel like my boys really aren’t babies anymore.

 

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I think it’s going to be just as much fun for their mama and daddy as it is for the boys. I had to laugh when I realized that my boys made up 1/4 of the team, and we looked like a traveling circus by the time we got to the field. 🙂

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I think little sister is going to love spending the next few weeks at the ball fields. She sure didn’t have any complaints on Monday evening.

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PS – Sorry for the not-so-great pictures. It’s not easy nursing a baby and being a photographer at the same time. 🙂

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I Put Peanut Butter on my TV

Today I put peanut butter and bathroom cleaner on my plasma tv.

No, I haven’t lost my mind, though I almost did when I saw that my four year old had stretched his bubble gum across the screen of our 42-inch plasma television. Yes, this post is about bubble gum removal. I have no idea what the boy thought he was doing, but his reasoning was, “I was trying to have fun by myself.” How is this the same kid that was out of bed, dressed, and making his bed at 6:45 this morning? I have no idea. Nevertheless, bubble gum is not an easy thing to remove from any surface, much less that of a television screen.

After my attempts to pull off the larger pieces were only somewhat successful, I decided to consult my trusty friend Google.
I found this helpful article on ehow.com.

The article said I would need creamy peanut butter {check}, bathroom cleaner in a spray bottle {check}, and a clean microfiber cloth {check}.

That’s right. With a little creamy peanut butter, a spray bottle of bathroom cleaner, and microfiber cloth, you can remove smeared gum from a plasma tv screen. Some of the worst spots did require smearing the peanut butter in really good with the cloth prior to wipe off, and a few tiny spots had to be scratched off with my fingernail, but overall it was a pretty simple process. Thank goodness for the Internet!

I didn’t get a before picture, but here is a during and after of the process.

 

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television after gum was removed

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ALWAYS lock the fridge

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Why am I posting a picture of a bottle of mustard? Just hang in there with me for a minute.

A few nights ago, I was needing to make an important, work-related, phone call, and Steven wasn’t there to be on kid duty. I did the normal mommy things: got the boys snacks and drinks, lectured on the importance of being quiet, reminded them I would be down the hall, turned on their favorite cartoon, and quietly slipped into my bedroom. I forgot something on my list though. Something VERY important. About halfway through this phone call, I needed to return to the kitchen to get something, though I’ve now forgotten what. I was definitely not prepared for what I found. That little mustard bottle? It was in the hands of my 2 year old. The contents of that bottle were all over my kitchen and dining area, and laundry room.  I had forgotten to lock the refrigerator! The floor, the table, the chairs, the oven, the cabinets, the dirty clothes, the washing machine, both my sons…oh, and the couch, the carpet, two tote bags, a library book, and the dog – all decorated with spots, splashes, smears and puddles of yellow mustard. What’s a mom to do? I’m not even sure what I should have done. I couldn’t even give him a stern look though. I laughed. I told the woman on the other end of the phone what was going on. Thankfully she laughed with me. I then cleaned it up as I finished the conversation. Ah, you’ve never fully multitasked until you’ve undressed two little boys covered in mustard, cleaned up a ginormous mess, and carried on a business phone call at the same time!

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Lazy Sunday

This morning, before anything else, Lincoln had a rodeo in the kitchen. 🙂

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Then the dinosaurs arrived. Don’t worry, the black stallion kicked some t-rex butt.

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3 months of Being Sylvia-Kate

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Because we didn’t find out our baby’s gender during my pregnancy, we didn’t know who she was until she arrived. She was just Baby. Now she’s been Sylvia-Kate for three months!

How did that happen? She’s growing too fast!

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At her 2 month check up, she was already 25 inches long (above 97th percentile!), and I know she’s grown more in the last 4 weeks.
Now she’s rolling side to side and tummy to back, laughing a little, teething, “talking” up a storm, and smiley as ever! She loves to play with her toys and watch her silly brothers.

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