Laundry: Lightening the Load

Last week I started The Organised Housewife’s 20 Days to Organised and Clean Your Home challenge. I’d love to say I’ve kept up with all the tasks and my house is looking schmick, but let’s be realistic. After all, it isn’t called 20 Days to a Completely Change Your Personality

However, one room which has had a good going over so far is the laundry. It amazes me how this one tiny, little room is the source of so much angst and disgruntlement. 

If we ever built a house I would take the greatest pleasure in designing the laundry. There would be a long bench for sorting and folding, inbuilt colour-coded hampers, a fold out ironing board…

But I digress. What I do have is a tiny space and a large apathy for laundry. 

I had enough trouble keeping abreast of the wash, dry, fold, repeat cycle when there was just two of us, but now there are five, I’m drowning in a sea of tiny underpants and mismatched socks. 

I must say that one of the best things I’ve found about The Organised Housewife’s challenge so far is the Facebook group of participants. That group is like a homemaker’s brain trust. You can look at all the idealistic Pins and blog posts on the net for inspiration but at the end of the day, a person like me needs workable, easily adopted solutions. To be able to see what other women who are in a similar position have come up with to make life easier is truly inspirational. The best part is, they are often ridiculously simple!

At the end of the challenge I’ll share my overall favourite tips and tricks but I just couldn’t wait to show you two great laundry hacks, newly implemented in our home. 

The first one is for sorting smalls. If I calculated how much time I spend sifting through baskets looking for missing socks I’d… well, I’d be very depressed.

I am also forever getting scolded for mixing up the boys’ undies. Considering they share a room and a wardrobe I’m not sure why this is a big deal, but it is!

One of the group shared this awesome idea: 

sorting smalls, laundry, washing

A washable smalls bag (avail absolutely anywhere) labelled and hung up on the laundry wall so the boys can do the sorting as soon as the clothes come off. The advantages of this are 3-fold (pardon the pun).

1. The laundry bag can be washed and dried as-is with all smalls staying together. Note: I’m ultra lazy and generally use the drier for smalls. Mainly because we have a small washing line and, well, I’m lazy. If you hang them up, you would simply sort the smalls back into the bag as you took them off the line.

2. The boys are learning life skills that will last an eternity. You’re welcome future daughter/son-in-laws! 

3. I don’t have to touch smelly boy-jocks! 

The other trick is for sorting the kids’ clothes once they are off the line. My boys actually like folding their own clothes but when they are jumbled in with the rest of the wash, it becomes a bit of a sorting nightmare if I don’t get to Mt Foldmore for a week or so.

Enter these little gems.

laundry hamper, washing, kid's laundry, mt foldmore, mt washmore

Two simple pop-up hampers, one each, which I sort their washing directly into. The hamper gets put on their beds for them to fold and put away. Huzzah!

As you can see, these solutions aren’t sophisticated or costly but the time and energy they will save me in the laundry is priceless!!

Do you get your kids involved in doing the laundry? What tricks to you use to make life easier when tackling Mt Washmore?

 

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Parenting: Opting out is not an option

quit parenting, parenting, runaway parents

There are lots of hard things about being a parent. 

It’s hard seeing your child hurt.

Toilet training is hard.

Making decisions that impact your child’s future is hard. 

Watching Yo Gabba Gabba at 6.30am in the morning is really hard. 

But the absolute single hardest thing about parenting is an inability to opt out. 

For example, I drafted this post at 4.05am in the morning. Why the heck are you up at that ungodly hour, I hear you ask. Well after a total of FOUR wake ups by Pebbles, I was confronted by a small shape looming over me whispering the words every slumbering parent dreads… “Mummy, I wet the bed.”

Now, judge me if you will, but at this point, all I wanted to say was “Bugger off” and roll over.

Alas, that’s the killer thing about this parenting caper – quitting is not an option.

I’ve got 3 little humans depending on me and they, quite frankly, don’t give a damn about how much sleep I’ve had, or that I’m not a morning person, or that I was in the middle of a really nice dream involving Channing Tatum and all 31 of Baskin Robbins’ icecream flavours…

It pains me to admit but I’m not the world’s tenacious person. I kinda get into stuff and love the guts out of it for a while, then drop it like it’s hot. Things like belly dancing and weight watchers and university degrees. 

But parenting is one thing I can’t drop. No matter how hot that spud gets, I have to hold on tight and feel the burn.

Difficult conversations – gotta have ‘em.

Endless meals of sausages and pasta – gotta have ‘em.

Wet beds at 4am – gotta have ‘em. 

My kids won’t be little forever but while they are, here I am right in the thick of it. Sure, I may be a little grumpy and my clothes are usually unironed. I also have some pretty mean battle scars in the form of stretch marks, bad skin and a debilitating caffeine addiction.

But I won’t give up. I can’t.

No matter how good that icecream dream of Channing was…

Somedays do you just want to quit parenting?

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Operation Clean & Organised

It’s been a crazy 12 months or so.

Bathrooms have been renovated, babies have been born, 3 full households have been relocated over 90km (us & both sets of parents), grandparents have been ill, pets have died, husband’s have been diagnosed and treated for cancer … all with three kids in tow.

Consequently, my house has suffered BIG TIME. Stuff gets piled up, cleaning takes a backseat and Mt Washmore continues to grow. There are boxes yet to be unpacked. Projects have been started and put to one side and, most frustratingly, every time I seem to get one area of the house sorted, another is reduced to chaos. I wish I was the type of person who comfort-cleans instead of comfort-eats!

Instead, I tend to put off jobs thinking that I will get to them when things get back to “normal” (whatever that means).

However in the last week or so I’ve come to the realisation that there will always be SOMETHING.

Hopefully not in the form of more babies or cancers but someone will get sick, something will need to be fixed.

Life is not all smooth sailing and I really need to get out of the habit of putting things off until things calm down. Because let’s face it, life with three kids? Seriously, calm doesn’t even factor in the equation.

So, to help me get things back on an even keel and motivate me to get the house ship-shape, I’ve signed up for The Organised Housewife’s 20 Days to Organise and Clean Your Home (can you hear The Man cheering?). The beautiful Kat from The Organised Housewife is kitting us out with daily tasks, checklists and tips on getting our house ship-shape!

organised housewife, cleaning kit

I just hope I can stick with this the whole way through. Today is Day 3 and I’m already 2.5 days behind… but in my defence I have a dreadful head cold. I’m telling you, its so bad its bordering on man-flu!

However, I do already feel more inspired by reading Kat’s tips and seeing the progress of others in the group. Fingers crossed I can build up some momentum and stay organised!

Are you an organised person, even in times of crisis? Or do you get distracted and overwhelmed like I do?

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Letter to Pebbles – Happy first birthday!

Don’t forget to enter the #pebblesturnsone giveaway here!

Pebbles at 1

My dearest darling girl,

Today you are one!

I simply cannot believe it. In some ways the last 12 months have flown by, but I also find it difficult to remember what life was like before you burst onto the scene.

Unbeknownst to me at the time of your naming, Jessica means “gift” and that my love, you truly are. You have been an absolute blessing over the last 12 months, a time of much upheaval.  Tending to your everyday needs has helped distract me from the various stresses facing our little family. The special bond we share has been a balm for my very battered soul.  A gift you are indeed.

Watching your personality develop has been wonderful, although I fear we may be in for a bumpy ride in years to come. Your moods change like the wind, demanding and loud one minute, cheeky and flirty the next. You drive us all crazy with you insistent yells for attention but when you have centre stage you are an absolute delight. Yes, I do foresee trouble ahead!

At 12 months you are nearly walking – taking a few tentative steps unaided but yet to take off independently. You zoom around when holding on to something though, and you resent being restricted by the playpen. You say “Mum”, “Dad”, “bubba”, “poo”, “num-num” (food), “ni-ni” (tired) but your favourite word is “Will”. You always light up when he enters your line of sight & he adores you just as much in return.  

I think you are really going to give your two big brothers a run for their money. Already you love to wrestle and play rough. Constantly busy, I think the only time you are still is when you are sleeping! I must admit though, when you are sleepy you give the best snuggles in all the world.

Your favourite tricks include panting like a dog in response to “what does a dog say”, pegging toys out of your playpen (you’ve got an awesome throwing arm!), clapping and dancing. In fact you love anything musical and can even belt out a mean tune on the xylophone. 

For some reason you even like my (very bad) singing. Twinkle Twinkle always gets you doing the hand movements and Rock-a-Bye Baby is the one thing that manages to soothe you when you are resisting sleep. That and boobie, of course! 

Yes, we are still breastfeeding, a feat I’m quite proud of, and you love your solid foods, too. Your current favourites are blueberries and sultanas. Oh, and CAKE! You are your mother’s daughter, after all. 

Gorgeous girl, everyday I’m grateful to have you in my life.

Thank you for being my daughter. 

All my love

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Pebbles turns one! {Giveaway}

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I can’t believe that on Thursday my baby girl turns one! So much has happened in the last 12 months, good and bad, but through it all she has been an absolute blessing.

I plan to write a birthday letter to her which I will share on her birthday but I’m a firm believer in the “Festival of the Birthday” and always love to kick off the celebrations early. What better way to do that than with a little bloggy giveaway?  After all who doesn’t love presents?!

Pebbles and I thought we might share a few of our favourite things, while at the same time doing another of our favourite things – supporting awesome local mum’s build fabulous businesses!

Those that have followed my journey for a while, will know that when I found out Pebbles was a girl, I was a little apprehensive. Turns out all my fears were completely unfounded and I have totally embraced having a girl. Pink and pretty abounds!!

Pebbles isn’t a huge fan of me playing dress ups with her but she humours me on special occasions. Her birthday and Christmas are already sorted as I have ordered her the sweetest items from Velice!

Belinda from Velice is based in Brisbane and makes absolutely beautiful items for incredible prices. Her range includes bloomers, headbands, pettiskirts and her newest addition “Bear-Feet” sandals. Velice also print their own great range of wall decals.

To help us celebrate Pebbles’ birthday, Belinda is giving one lucky person a Velice bloomer and headband set of their choice!

velice, bloomers, headbands, baby

 

When she was born, one of Pebbles’ favourite “Aunties” gave me a beautiful wooden and crochet teething necklace.

teething necklace, teething beads, little knox c, baby teething jewellery

It continues to be one of our favourite accessories (mine for wearing, hers for chewing!)

The necklace came from Little Knox C, the business of Darwin-based mum Sam, who makes the cutest teething rings, blankets, necklaces, clothes and now, felt garlands.  I couldn’t help myself and had to get Pebbles’ a #1 tee and a beautiful garland for her birthday party. Sam has also given me a gorgeous Little Knox C teething necklace to giveaway to one lucky reader!

Little Knox C

 

Now Pebbles is at an age where she’s really interacting with things around her, I’m always on the look out for innovative toys. I love the range from Bryon Bay company Nic-Nac which includes an awesome selection of fair-trade and eco toys, as well as their own designs. You can buy directly from Kylie via the Nic-Nac website or in many great stockist’s across the country. I picked up some of their “Fairy & Dragon Eggs” for party favours and I’m very tempted to get Pebbles a felt crown for her birthday. And maybe a cute puzzle…

baby toys, eco toys, fair trade toys, nic mac

It’s not a birthday party without balloons, and these balloon balls from Nic-Nac are the bomb! Well, they aren’t actually because unlike normal balloons, these ones won’t explode!! Perfect for little ones to play with and we are fortunate to have a set of 3 balloon balls up for grabs.

balloon ball, nic nac, balloons, balls, baby toys

 

So there you go! Everything we need for a perfect birthday celebration – prettiness and playthings!

For your chance to win one of these gorgeous prizes, simply enter via the Rafflecopter form below – this competition is now closed.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS!

Jocelyn R – Little Knox C Teething Necklace
Cate B – Velice Bloomer Set
Jacqueline C – Nic Nac Balloons

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Terms & Conditions

Open to Australian residents only.  Giveaway consists of 3 separate prizes. One entry per person. Winners must meet all conditions.  Judges decision is final. Winner will be contacted via email and details published on this blog post. Giveaway ends midnight 27/9/2014

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway