Posted in Under Our Roof

Great Laundry Adventure Day 12

I would love to report that my laundry monster is gone, however, he’s still hanging around. Last weekend we made an impromptu trip to Mississippi, so now I’m trying to get caught up on traveling laundry!

Sort by room seems to be working. I wash everything on warm (except diapers and towels) and nothing has turned pink yet, so I’m happy. It would be even better if I could fold the clothes straight from the dryer, so they never just sat around waiting to be folded. It would also help in The Pastor didn’t just pull things out of the dryer and pile them all together. It kind of defeats the presorting thing.

Laundry Chaos Rating Today: 7

Load Breakdown:            19 loads

24 washer cycles

31 dryer cycles

Posted in Out Of My Head, Under Our Roof

The Great Laundry Adventure- Socks!

Socks are a huge pain in my rear! 5 people with 5 different sock stashes that go in 5 different place- it becomes more than a pain to get socks in their rightful place. To add to my troubles, Imogene and Aidan take joy in playing with socks- thus spreading socks all over the house! They put them on their hands and wear them as gloves. They layer them on their feet, paying no attention to matching. On any one given day, each child can dirty up to 8 socks! Of course, these creative toddlers never put their socks where they belong, they just throw them where they happen to take them off. I have found socks in toy bins, under the couch, under beds, stuffed INSIDE toys, lying around, and back in the clean sock buckets. Clearly, I need help with my sock problem!

Tip #1: Place all of each person’s socks in a small plastic bin. Don’t sort. Just put them in the bins.

Okay, so we solve my matching socks problem, but that’s it. And inevitably my kids will be wearing mismatched socks, which is already pretty typical. Let’s see if I can find some more tips!

Tip #2: Buy each person in the family a zippered mesh bag and have each person place their dirty socks into the mesh bag. Launder the socks in the mesh bag.

Now here is a tip I love! Solves my sorting problem entirely. Now if I could only get them to actually put the socks in the bags!

Tip #3: Buy all kids all the same kind of socks with no variations.

Okay, if the size were not a factor, then I guess this could work. But they’d be wearing boring white socks all the time. Not to say it isn’t tempting and if my sock woes continue, I’ll be at this point before long. I’d prefer a solution that lets them keep their fun socks. It does solve the matching socks issue, since all the socks match.

Tip #4: Sew snaps on the inner top portion of each sock. Have kids snap socks together before placing them in the wash.

You could also use “sock locks” to secure socks to one another in the wash.

You could also use small clothes pins to secure socks together before they go into the dirty clothes. (May be loud in the dryer!)

So, I have seen this done and the snaps are barely noticeable on the sock. It would solve your sorting issue with finding matching socks. The problem for me would be the time it would take to sew snaps on every single pair of socks! I guess if I had a snap press, it wouldn’t be too much work- but the snaps would be much more noticeable.

Tip #5: Buy each person only one style of sock, but each a different style or brand. (E.g. Child A has white crew socks, Child B has white ankle socks, Child C has white fold over socks. OR Child A has white Gold Toe socks, Child B has white Hanes)

Buy each person their own color of sock. (Child A wears pink, Child B wears blue, Child C wears grey, etc.)

Okay, so we’re going a step further toward being Sock Nazi. I’d prefer to leave the kids with options. I don’t like wearing plain white socks, so I hate the idea of forcing them toward that. Plus, at some point you run out of options for each child. (With just 3, I’d be hard pressed to find 3 styles or brands that were different enough to tell which sock is which.)

Tip #6: Take individual sorting out of the mix. Sort socks more generally instead of by each individual family member. (Older kids can sort their own from the general pile of kid socks.)

Quite obviously, I don’t have older kids, they can’t sort their own. But Aidan and Imogene do wear the same size socks, so maybe I could implement this tip with a general “toddler” basket of socks! And in a few months when Emery’s feet catch up to him, I’ll have one basket for all the kid’s socks. That might be helpful. Although, The Pastor may not appreciate his son walking around in the pink floral socks he picked out, but I could maybe convince him to get over it. (I did convince him pink diapers on a boy are no big deal.)

Tip #7: Make sure you get all socks out of the washer and dryer. Make sure all socks end up in the same load of laundry. It is much easier to match socks when they are all in the same load and don’t get intentional or accidentally place in different loads.

With my current non-method method, this would be impossible. There is no way I can currently ensure that each and every sock pair ends up in the same load. However, with the proper sorting method, I can do this. Makes sense that if they get washed and dried together, they are easier to put away together.

Tip #8: Label each sock with a magic marker. You could use a “dot system” (e.g. Daddy has one dot, Mommy has two, Child A has 3, Child B has 4, etc.) or write small initials on the bottom of the sock (or inside cuff if you prefer.)

So, the dots and initials in our family would prevent socks from being passed down. (I suppose if I used dots, I could just add more dots as socks got passed down.) Also, stains on socks may make it hard to differentiate between dots. Plus, it would still take me quite a while to sort socks, even if they were all marked with the owner somehow.

Tip #9: Buy Old Navy or Circo children’s socks with the label on the bottom.

This is pretty clever. You’d match sizes since the size is clearly marked on the bottom. Smart. But you’d be limited to Old Navy or Circo socks, but at least you could have color! If all else fails, I’m throwing away all our kid socks and stocking up on Old Navy socks!

Tip #10: Ditch socks.

Yes, I really did come across that tip. I suppose if we lived where it was always warm and could do sandals all the time, I might. But it does get cold a few months out of the year here in Georgia, so socks must stay. I will not , I repeat, WILL NOT! allow my family to wear their tennis shoes with no socks. It grosses me out. Plus, how could I ever hand shoes down from child to child if they are wearing them sockless? Yuck! So, clearly this is not an option for me.

I do hope to implement several of these tips! Hopefully, you can find one or two to help you out as well!

Posted in Out Of My Head, Under Our Roof, With The Kids

Upcoming: The Great Laundry Adventure

I do an unbelievable amount of laundry. I know no one is really surprised by that. And I know what you’re thinking, “You’re whining about laundry, yet you willingly choose to use cloth diapers.” (If you weren’t thinking it, you would have been.) But my diaper laundry is really only a very small fraction of the laundry I do each week. Really. Don’t believe me? Today is Tuesday and I have done 6 loads of laundry in the last 2 days. Only 1 of those loads were diapers. My laundry monster is really out of control! I need to do SOMETHING to take my house back from this menace.

So, for the entire month of November, I will be having the Great Laundry Adventure here in my house and sharing it with you, my world. If you’ve got your own laundry monster, you can participate with me if you’d like. I’ll be rounding up laundry sorting, washing, folding, hanging, putting away, etc. ideas for the next week and a half and then- we’ll be off on our adventure! And for fun, I will keep track of how many loads of laundry a family of 5 with 3 under 3 go through. I’m sure that count will be interesting.

So, if you need laundry tips, check back in! If you want to see the Adventure, check back in! If you just have an odd fascination with how in the world a woman with 3 small children could ever be what would even remotely be considered organized, check back in! We’ll see how this goes. I very well may completely fail in front of my entire world, but it will perhaps get me over my fear of failure. (Or fear of failure will be enough to catapult me over each hurdle in the adventure!)

Posted in Under Our Roof, With The Kids

Double Trouble Kind of Week

Aidan @ Tea Party

I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that sweet little man could not possibly be a handful. No, really. If his mother says he is, she must be lying. That cutie is not capable of mischief. No, not that sweet guy.

Imogene in WagonAnd that beautiful girl could not possibly be devious. Oh no! That just can’t be true about such an angelic little princess. Her mother must be mad to say such things. Her mother must not appreciate the creative genius of that little lamb. Really. That girl is a saint! I’ll vouch for her, she’s perfect.

That is what you’re saying, I know it. But I, their mother, am not misled in thinking these two are trouble! Yes, it is usually a hilarious kind of trouble. But they are trouble, nonetheless. I’ll give you a taste of what I’ve dealt with this week:

Imogene in Aidan pantsThat beautiful girl changes clothes constantly! Seriously. She takes off whatever outfit I have helped her pick out in the morning and proceeds to don whatever she fancies at the moment. In this particular moment, it happened to be her brother’s pants. Now, this adds to the already massive amounts of laundry I must do each week. (So far this week, I’m well over 15 loads. Yes, I said 15. And the week isn’t even over yet!)

Aidan won’t leave his pants on. He has decided this week that he is completely capable of changing his own diaper. He has taken an interest in using the potty, demanding I take him and sit him on the toilet several times a day so he can tinkle in the bowl. He feels he is too big for Mommy changing his diaper. This has resulted in at least 2 incidents of poo smearing. (At least he only smears it up his arms or down his legs and not in the carpet.)

Aidan Butt FaceThen there is the Burt’s Diaper Rash Cream incident. I had already told each of them at least once not to touch anything in the baskets on the changing table. (This included several baskets containing shoes, bibs, burp cloths, cloth wipes, cloth diapers, big girl panties, and diaper rash cream.) They chose to smear it all over one another. When they heard me coming (I tend to announce my presence.) they grabbed cloth wipes and bibs and tried to quickly clean up. It didn’t work.  (Their “punishment” was to clean it all up. Wipe it off every surface, remove their clothing, put all soiled washables into the washing machine, and into the bath the two went.)

butt face & butt handsAs a side note, I know from previous experience (no, this isn’t a first) that the easiest way to remove unwanted butt cream is to wipe all excess off with a dry towel, then bathe in dish detergent. (You’ll never get the stuff out of their hair if you try to use regular shampoo.) So, they smelled like clean dishes afterward.

Aidan the logThe beautiful girl also dresses her brother on occasion. Thus the flowery yellow and pink shirt. He is covered in soot. Why is that adorably toddler covered in soot? He climbed into the fireplace and sat on the log holder (or whatever the technical or proper term for that metal rack is).  And not only did he climb in there, his partner in crime was so kind to shut the fireplace screen behind him.

They also learned they can drag the dining room chairs all over the house so they can better reach the things I put too high for them. I caught them stealing bubble gum (Aidan was stealing, Imogene was coaching). They also attempted to steal vitamins, but they couldn’t figure out how to get past the sink.

Imogene also bathed Aidan in their bathroom sink with his clothes on. She was supposed to be in there pottying, but when the water ran longer than it took to wash her hands, I found a fully clothed Aidan in the sink while Imogene bathed him.

Aidan was a super big helper and picked up Lucas’s “accident” with his hands. Yeah. Really helping his Mommy out. Someone’s gotta be the man of the house, right?

They took a cardboard bolt that fabric comes on and used it as a sled to slide down the climber’s slide. Very inventive. It took about 5 minutes before they were both hurt and crying.

Aidan busted a Chick-Fil-A container of Polynesian sauce and poured it one himself. He got mad when Lucas (our dog) started licking him clean.

Mum & EmeryAnd to the double trouble we add the third little trouble maker. He threw up in his sister’s hair once, my bed three times, his Daddy’s belly once, and Mommy’s shoulder/shirt too many times to count.

I’m sure I missed some other mischief, but you get the idea. It has been one crazy week! Aren’t toddlers fun?!

Posted in Out Of My Head

Coming Clean

Sorry to anyone anticipated a post about laundry. You’ll find no laundry tips here. In fact, it is probably best that you not ask me about laundry. I’m really not a laundry pro, although the Pastor thinks I am. (I am amazing at blood stains- of course!) But generally I just throw clothes in the machine and they come out cleaner than they went in. 

Whispering SecretsI have a confession. I am a bit of a stalker. I tend to eavesdrop, as most of you probably know. I cannot be out and not listen to the conversations going on around me. I know it’s strange. I sometimes find myself mocking people. That isn’t what makes me a stalker. That just makes me no fun to be with at a restaurant. I blog-stalk. Yep. I am an avid reader of blogs of people I don’t know. Some people are just so much more interesting than I am. The Pastor finds this behavior odd. I find myself thinking I am friends with people I have never met or ever talked to. They come up in my everyday conversation. I mean, I don’t guess they should be surprised. Bloggers expect some sort of audience. (Even my blog has a meager audience of 18 readers- and that’s on a good day.) So, I don’t guess big-time blog stars are surprised to find they have stalkers, right? I mean, blog stars are like a version of reality television, only better- it really is real! (As far as one can tell.) 

I guess I could feature a blog star here on my blog! I think I’ll do that from time to time. Today’s blog star is one of my favorites: Mavis.  The Pastor finds me talking about Mavis quite regularly. (“You know, Mavis uses magazines to wrap gifts. Maybe I should do that.”) So, go check out Mavis. If you must, tell her The Pastor’s Wife sent you. She won’t have a clue who you are talking about, but it might make you feel better about being a blog-stalker!