30 April 2014

Laundry For 6!

With the number in our family we have had piles of laundry up to eyeballs on more than one occasion. We have tried several different methods to keep up with it, and have had many different types of bins and contraptions. The problem with sorter bins is that they are way too small for our family size. We have tried sorting into several different baskets, takes up too much room. So, what do we do.

1. Well, my first tip on getting clothes clean and back where they belong is stop folding. I picked up this tip from Mandy over at Biblical Homemaking. Once you get over the initial shock, you'll probably realize as I did that folding clothes is a big time killer and a waste of time at that. One trip by your husband or 7 year old into that drawer of nicely folded shorts is going to turn it into one jumbled pile anyway. No one has ever seemed to noticed that my kids pants did not come from a neatly  folded stack. And trust me, my friends and family are the type to point it out. Not in the 'Oh look how sloppy' way, but in the, 'is everything ok, you need some help way.'

2. The washing. Each bedroom in our house has a basket. Only clothes that are stored in that room go into that basket. Each basket is done on separate days and I wash the whole basket before I begin sorting through the clean clothes. This makes putting away clothes much easier.

3. Putting things away. I separate clothes for drawers into piles and hang up shirts. With the exception of Anara's clothes, her clothing is usually hung up in outfits. A new room doesn't get started until the last room is put away. I throw in a load of towels as needed. I have a small basket sitting on top of the machine to separate out white clothes (I despise white clothing, so we don't have a lot of it!)

4. Socks. This one is a little trickier. No one in our house seems to be able to get many of their socks into their hamper, so when I do a load of towels I go around the house and collect socks. All clean socks go into this basket below which has a tendency to move around the house a bit. Each person also has a sock drawer or bucket in their room for socks that do make it into their dirty clothes basket. I do fold those socks as they come out (or I just throw them into the pink basket with the rest of the clean socks). The pink basket of socks gets folded together every 2 or 3 months, when there are just so many pairs of unmatched socks it takes over a minute to find a set. I highly encourage sandals in our house. I just recently matched socks in the pink basket, so I'm not planning to do it again until sandal season is over.

5. Products. We have made our own in the past and loved it, but my theme this year has been to do what saves me time. So, we use free and clear everything because it can be used for everyone and on everything. Our household cleaner (made from essential oils) makes the best pretreater ever. If it's not handy, I use detergent.

This is by no means fool proof, but it works for the most part for me. When my teenager wants to get out of doing her laundry, you'll find plenty of it in her little sister's basket and vice versa. This method does still seem to drive John a little nuts, but again it works for me.

20 April 2014

A few photos

Hi folks, hope you have a great Easter! Here are a few of my favorite photos from the last few months. This first one was taken tonight. John took Nia and a friend to the see the new Captain America movie, so Anara and I decided to have a mommy daughter date here at home. I'm getting into a lot more photos now days since I upgraded my phone. Hello selfies!

I thought our nails turned out fairly fabulous, if I do say so myself.

Ember playing in the yard. This kid loves the wide open spaces. His siblings still haven't realized they may wander through the entire yard, but this kid sure has.

Anara reading to Cameron! It's really awesome how Cameron loves for Anara to read to him. She wouldn't have had the confidence to do this just a few months ago. I'm so proud of my girl!

Proud of herself and enjoying the rewards of the hard work that allowed her to finish her reading curriculum for the year.

Ahhh, sibling sharing. This scene may have only lasted 90 seconds, but I'm thrilled to have captured this sweet moment.

Anara finishing the last story in her reading curriculum for the year!

Look how big my baby boy is getting! Our table was filled with beautiful girls this day because of an extended spring break sleep over. Let me tell you, this little mister is a serious flirt and was in heaven for the 4 day span our house was filled with these lovely ladies... and he really likes mommy's spaghetti squash and peas to boot.

I love my geeky girl! The irony of this photo is that the movie being advertised (The Nightmare Before Christmas) on the shirt (one of her favorites) she is wearing is the first movie I saw in theaters without an adult present.

Anara is always willing to pose for a selfie with mommy! She is my biggest cuddle bug lately. This is new role for her, it the past she was more of a long hug, but no extended cuddles type of girl. I have to say, I'm liking the new role.

No one ever realizes that Cam's curls actually do come from John because John does his hair daily. With this pic, there is no denying what gene pool those lovely locks are derived from.

The number of day's that I get to cuddle with Em as he nurses his bottle are quickly disappearing. I've always made sure he was being held while eating. My logic is that milk glands are attached high up on our bodies so that we must hold babies while they eats, or maybe that's just my excuse to constantly hold my babies. At any rate, with Ember almost off his bottle I ALWAYS make sure I am the one that gets to hold him while he is eating. I love, Love, LOVE these moments! That scratch under his eye happened when his brother hugged him. We have no idea what caused the scratch. We searched high and low for the offending item with no luck.

My Cammie boy sleeping on mommy. Ya' know this guy has slept on me more than all three of the others combined. As you can tell by the photo, I'm absolutely loving it! So, I may have lost countless nights of sleep with this guy. I cherish every one of them. Cam is a total daddy's boy, but when it comes to anything sleep related, he want's his mommy.

A selfie John took when he stole my phone on a date night.

Cameron's first selfie! He posed and everything. You have to give it to him, this kid has swagger!

John, and I took Ann to the doctor one Saturday Morning for a back injury she incurred while trying to sled while standing up.

I thought this was the cutest little scene. Ok, so maybe I should have been mad that Cam dumped out all of my buttons and was at my sewing desk in general (he knows it's off limits), but this was soooo adorable I couldn't do anything but smile. Just some sore and bruised muscles, all is well.

I have never seen this much snow in our town. ever. in. my. life. I have never seen anyone sled in our town. I knew one kid growing up that owned snow boots, she had moved here from Alaska. So, I really didn't think these boots that had been purchased on clearance at the end of the season last year in Ohio would get any use when we decided to move nor would this sled Anara insisted we keep. Well, I was wrong. The property our house sits one has a perfect little sledding hill also. I thought this picture captured my little Anara's personality perfectly!

This one is from our last trip to Cincinnati. Cam and I broke away from the rest of the family for a little while and he really enjoyed his play time with these frogs at the Newport Aquarium. 

My little Mister learning how to cruise around the couch.

... and walking with his big sister.

This was my birthday hug!

Little boys always want to be like daddy!

02 April 2014

Some Answers!

I had a very good doctor's appointment today! Through very valued opinions I received from friends and people that read my blog and by a little research I have done, I came up with about half a dozen things all or several of my symptoms could point to (you can read about that here). My regular doctor was able to eliminate all but two of them through some of the many test that have been run on me over the last few months. What I was left with on that list are premenstrual dysphoric disorder (also called PMDD) and a handful of different types of migraines including Menstruation Related Migrans. Since the only possibilities from my findings that were left were menstruation related, I was sent to a gynecologist that agreed all my symptoms could very well be caused by a hormonal issue and we have a plan to get things set straight. I still have appointments with other specialist, but I really feel like we are on the right track.