Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Boy and His Fans

Love this happy little guy!

Matthew with the toys his adoring fans piled before him

- Posted using BlogPress from my Super Handy iPhone

Friday, October 14, 2011

Potty Training Conversations

Overheard in the bathroom....

Little Tait (an old 2): "My goin' potty!"
Miles (a young 2): "Good job!"

Later that day...

Little Tait (sitting on the potty): "My makin' gas!"
Miles (watching): "Makin' gas?"
Little Tait: "Yours makin' gas? And Mommy makin' gas, and Daddy makin' gas...."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

MIA: Eaten by the Laundry Monster

If I ever go missing, just check the laundry. You'll probably find me buried beneath towering mountains of clean, unfolded clothes.

Hey, at least they're clean clothes! Dirty clothes wouldn't smell as nice, and I'd probably be joined 'neath my mountain by spiders and mice, which wouldn't be fun. But I digress....

Getting the clothes washed is easy. As the dirty laundry is created by our super efficient dirty clothes factory (boys), I sort the clothes - baby clothes, socks/undershirts/underwear, and gentle wash - into my super handy laundry cart. That cart is the best laundry purchase ever made, by the way. It's easy to get the clothes washed now ... just wait until one of the sections is filled up, and throw the whole load into the machine.

Miles transferring laundry for me
last winter, at 15 months old
My little helpers work to transfer the laundry to the dryer once it's clean, and then the dry laundry is carried into the living room ... where it lives for the next two weeks, joined by the subsequent ten loads of laundry that follow over that same time period, searched through repeatedly each day whenever a clean article of clothing is needed. Finally, when the mountain reaches its maximum height (usually when it is overflowing the armchair, ottoman and laundry basket, or when I am finally sick of going on an extensive scavenger hunt for a pair of matching socks every time we head out the door) ... it gets folded at 3am by a bleary-eyed me.

Last night's work
Keep in mind that each of those piles
is about 18+ inches high
At least, that's what happened last night. The final straw was attending a family friend's birthday party yesterday with the two older boys looking like little ragamuffins, wearing the first articles of clothing that happened to be extracted from the laundry mountain, and sporting some rather interesting mismatched socks. At least the other moms could sympathize; I'm apparently not the only one to postpone those late-night folding marathons.

There have been times when I've felt like I was escaping the laundry monster ... times when only a few loads pile up before getting folded. Here are a few tips that I've found (or heard of) to make my disappearance under that Everest pile of laundry less probable....

1. Sort dirty clothes as they are added to the laundry. Getting around to washing the clothes is easy! We live in a very small house with one bedroom, which makes this simpler, since every room in the house is in close proximity to the laundry room. Once we add on and our family grows some more, I'm not quite sure how this is going to work. Any ideas?

2. Fold the clothes that need to be ironed as they come out of the dryer. My hubby needs fresh, ironed clothes for work several days a week, so the ironing pile grows quickly. Not only does folding them right away cut down on what needs to be folded later, you just might find that some can skip the ironing step and be hung right up, ready to wear! Which cuts down on those late-night ironing projects. But that's another post....

3. Fold the big items as soon as possible. It makes the pile look less intimidating and builds morale. :D

4. Of course, there's the obvious solution of folding the clothes as they come out of the dryer, or very shortly thereafter, but what mom of littles has time for that? Yes, I do it when I can, but that doesn't turn out to be very often.

5. I know of families who buy all the kids the same color socks (or a different color for each child/size), and this is probably something I should implement. I'd just get all of the 12-24 Months in navy blue, all of the 2/3 Toddler in brown, all of the 4/5 in black, etc. Sure would cut down on the sock matching and digging through piles!

6. Teach the kids to help! Mine are all 2 and under at the moment, but I'm thinking the oldest is getting old enough to learn how to fold a few items - burp cloths, washcloths, and such. It's good for families to work together, and for children to understand that they are important, functioning members of the household!

7. Don't fold the baby clothes. Don't remember who, but someone did tell me once that she didn't fold any of the kids/baby clothes. Might work for some, but I'm just a little too OCD for that. ;D

Oh, and the best and worst laundry discoveries I've made?

Best: The playpen contains laundry very effectually. It keeps everything out of the way and more or less out of sight.

Worst: The playpen contains a lot of laundry very effectually. And that makes those late-nighters even later....

How do you do laundry? 
What tips and tricks have you found helpful? 
What is your tactic for reducing the risk of going MIA, 
buried in that insurmountable pile of laundry?

- Posted using BlogPress from my Super Handy iPhone

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Tribute to Miles on His 2nd Birthday

Happy 2nd birthday to Miles...

...our emotional one...

...our dramatic one...

...our accident prone one...

In the hospital waiting to be sedated
Read this story here,
and another one of his ER escapades here.

...our funny one...

...our clueless one...

...our musical one... 

...our messy one...

...and, of course, our rock thrower. If there is a rock anywhere in the vicinity, Miles will find it and do what every little boy naturally does with rocks.

When I found out we were expecting Miles, I cried. Not because I wasn't excited about another baby, but because I was already so overwhelmed with a newborn. When we discovered that Miles was on the way, Little Tait had been home from the hospital for just 6 weeks (after spending his first 3 months before his due date in the hospital).

I was still in the newborn stage ... up for feedings around the clock, adjusting to life with a baby (a very fussy baby) at home, etc. I was still adjusting to married life and life in Alaska. After all, we'd only been married a little over 10 months!

I wondered how in the world it was possible to handle another baby so quickly after the first one. But, God is faithful, and He gave us the grace and the strength - through 10 weeks of semi-bedrest while taking care of an 8-month-old, and a week-long NICU stay - to welcome a new little blessing into our lives. (Tait's parents were truly a godsend!)

I never could have fathomed the joy that Miles would bring into our home. He is such a little character, and his silly, clownish antics draw countless laughs from us throughout the day. He's always been a smiley guy, which very early on earned him the nickname "S'Miles." He also answers to "Moo-Moo," "Mr. Miles," "Miledy Moo," "Mi," "Mr. Smiles," and "Moody."

He is, of course, best buddies and worst enemies with his 10-and-a-half-months older big brother. They do everything together. Everything. Except ... well, actually there aren't any exceptions.

His high-pitched scream is a signature characteristic, and is released anytime his brother steals a toy or an earth-shattering tragedy happens. Usually, it's because of the former and not the latter.

He is a much earlier talker than Little Tait was, and can pretty much get across whatever he wants to get across. It might take him a full minute to get ten words out though, between all of his stuttering and searching for the right word....

This was one of those
""I can't believe I don't have my camera,
but I'm sure glad I have my iPhone"
moments. :D
Miles provides us with lots of those.

Miles is truly a joy in our home, and we look forward to the great things God has in store for him! May He give us the wisdom to disciple him, the patience to discipline him, the perseverance to train him, and the grace to listen to that high-pitched scream yet again.


His birthday was Sunday, and I've had this post, minus the pictures, prepared since then. Better late than never! : )