Tag Archives: raising boys

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

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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WFMW: Table Chores for Littles

On this Works For Me Wednesday: making life easier with lots of littles… Oh, and teaching those littles some responsibility too 🙂

I have 2 1/2 year old and 3 year old boys, (and an almost 9 month old girl) so there is lots of cleaning and picking up at our house every day, but obviously their house cleaning skills and abilities are a bit limited. However, since we recently downsized to a 900-1000 square foot rental home with no dishwasher and very limited laundry area, I was pretty excited to get the boys started helping out with chores. I started by letting them help with dishes, but that proved to just be too much for them at this point. With their limited attention spans, it turned into a bigger mess for me. Then I tried “table chores.” Oh, what a difference such a simple thing has made in my life!

After breakfast, lunch, and snacks the boys are responsible for putting any scraps of food from their plates in the trash, putting their plates and utensils in the sink and their cups on the counter. I then give them each a wet rag to clean the table and chairs. After I’ve inspected their work, I give them a dry towel to dry it all. This must be done before they move on to the next activity. If they finish eating before everyone else, they sit at the table until we finish. After supper is a super busy time, so I haven’t had them help with that yet. These chores are simple enough for them to handle with little supervision, allowing me to get started on washing the dishes or putting away the dry ones from our last meal, but still being close enough to keep them on task and give instructions.

my son cleaning a chair

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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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Ping pong, Duck Dynasty Style

My Duck Dynasty obsessed sons came into the kitchen tonight like this, with the 3 yr. old saying, “Look Mama, we’re playing ping pong!”

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Catching up…

 

Well, I apologize for being gone for so long (again). Things have been crazy around here with the arrival of our newest zoo member!

On November 5, Miss Sylvia-Kate arrived into our home! She arrived with a hurricane (literally & figuratively) of drama. She is the sweetest little girl, and the entire family (even her brothers!!) loves her to bits! More on her later. She will get an entire post to herself. 🙂

But in the last week….

  • I discovered Lincoln naked and covered in gray/green eye shadow in my bathroom.
  • Stanton poured half  a container of formula in the floor…twice. Good thing that stuff is cheap! (not)
  • We put our Christmas tree up. Yay!
  • I killed the lights on the tree.
  • Steven fixed the lights – and instructed me to buy a new tree after Christmas.
  • We bought a new (to us) car.
  • My mommy brain has gone to a whole new level. (The level where you wear a bra inside out for an entire day without realizing it and you lay a sweater out on the patio to dry – and leave it there…to be rained on the next day.)
  • Stanton is still trying to potty train himself.
  • The boys emptied a 130+ box of diapers all over their room more times than I care to count.
  • The boys emptied the boxes of baby clothes stored in their closet more times than I care to count.
  • Sylvia-Kate rolled over (tummy to back) for the first time today! She’s only 4 weeks old.
  • I kissed 2,621* (sibling-inflicted) boo-boos.
  • I gave 3,322* hugs.
  • I slept 7* hours.
  • I threatened to put the kids in daycare only once. 🙂

 

 

 

*These numbers may or may not be completely accurate.

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My Little Handyman

Many mornings our adventures begin when the boys get a few moments free from mommy’s supervision while I take a bath. Yes, I know baths take a bit longer than showers, but I have to be able to listen to my rowdies and jump out at a moment’s notice when I hear the sound of one climbing over the baby gate, a fight breaking out, etc. The noise of the shower often drowns out the sounds of their antics. I learned that lesson the hard way.

This morning The boys had been up for a while, were settled with some cereal, and seemingly getting along, so I decided I would let them watch a cartoon while I took a quick shower instead of the usual bath. I turned on Clifford the Big Red Dog , went into the bathroom, locked the door, and hopped in the shower. Don’t worry, nothing got broken or poured out in the floor, and no one escaped from the house.

I took a quick shower, got dressed, and started to brush my teeth. I peeked out the door to check on the boys, and they were still playing in the living room and watching tv. I shut the door back and locked it, hoping to finish brushing my teeth before they got bored. I heard one of them twisting the locked doorknob. Then the lock clicked into the unlock position. The door opened, and there stood my 2 year-old, with this old screwdriver in his hand. “Hi, Mommy.”

 

 

Sigh. He is his father’s child.

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Maybe bathing is a bad idea….

Moms with toddlers really shouldn’t bathe.

For some dumb reason I thought I would go take a shower this morning while the boys were watching a movie. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I did my usual routine of locking the baby gate and hoping the boys would be entertained long enough for me to wash my hair and the oldest wouldn’t climb over the gate. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

For the past several days I have been wondering if I was getting careless and forgetting to lock the refrigerator or if our 2 year old had figured it out. Well, today I got my answer. It came in the form of 2+ pounds of sugar emptied and smeared across the floor in my kitchen and thrown (yes, thrown) over the gate, into the floor of the living room.

Let me state again that mothers of toddlers shouldn’t bathe.

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Lincoln says….

Yesterday afternoon we took the boys to Harp’s to do some much needed grocery shopping. Our oldest apparently didn’t get a long enough nap and started whining as soon as we walked in the door. I told him that if he obeyed Mommy and Daddy, and walked with Daddy like a big boy (no running away!), he could have a sucker when we left. After several infractions, he lost out on his sucker opportunity and a package of Oreos he asked for. When we got to the car he remembered the sucker, and he asked about it on the way home. I told him he didn’t get a sucker because he didn’t listen to Mommy in the store. Poor little guy, he threw his hands up, gave a little exasperated sigh and said, “But I wisten to you aww day!”

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