Showing posts with label Large Family Living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Large Family Living. Show all posts

Monday, June 1

5 New Baby Must Haves {from a Mama of 5}

**This post does contain affiliate links, meaning that I earn a few pennies on purchases made through the links: You can read my Disclosure Policy here.**

When you’re having your 5th child and you’ve had 3 of your others at once there really isn’t anything that you need for a new baby. You kind of decide at this point that you have way too much baby stuff and need to purge immediately and for your own sanity. I’ve been going through all of the kids clothes, shoes, toys and paraphernalia that we have; deciding what to keep, what to yard sale, and what to sell on ebay. It hasn’t been easy {my bedroom has looked liked this for the past 2 months}.

All of this also helps me to realize that perhaps I’m a bit of an expert on the necessities for baby. Obviously, there are some things that are absolutely not negotiable…like a car seat, especially if you plan on being in a car, or diapers and clothes. The rest is just an extensive list of things that would be nice, but aren’t necessary. To me, these items are the must-have-end-all-be-all of baby necessities.

A Carrier
I don’t care who you are or how much you love your baby, at some point you’re going to want the use of your hands again, but that little one is probably still going to want to be held. With the rest of our kids we had a Moby Wrap, which both Matt and I loved! It kept them close and warm, it was comfortable to wear, even with the clingy big sister in it.

This time it’s summer though and warm isn’t exactly something I’m looking for. I asked a few friends about the Ergo and the Boba and several others, before deciding that we would ask for a Boba with #5. I need ease of use, comfort, and flexibility…especially going into the summer when we have swimming lessons, the fair, and Matt is gone a whole lot more.

*Ergo Baby Carrier {Borrowed one of these from a friend and I really like it}
*Boba Baby Carrier {I liked the features of the Boba better than the Ergo}
*Moby Wrap {Love this one…it is a bit tricky to get into at first, it’s pretty easy after you get the hang of it, but it can get quite warm}

Cloth Diapers

I realize that specifically cloth diapers are not a necessity. But I love my cloth diapers, if I could wax-poetic about them I would. I’ve missed them, since we moved out last year and the triplets went in to disposables. My whole box of them has been pulled out, lovingly prepped and waiting for use once again. My favorite is still a Bum Genius. {If you’re not into cloth, we’ve always had great luck with Huggies Little Movers and OverNites}.

*Bum Genius {These are my favorites and I have no complaints whatsoever about them}
*Fuzzi Bunz {I love the colors on these so much more than the BG, but the elastic does not hold up well..they do have an awesome repair policy though}.


Once little one will let you put them down and sleep comfortably some place other than on your person we loved having a swing. I didn’t have to go up and down the stairs to the baby’s room and they slept well. I think we got our’s at a consignment shop for quite a bit less than brand new. Some of them get ridiculously expensive, but a good, basic one doesn’t have to cost tons of money, just make sure to get one that has an AC adapter…batteries get expensive.

*Fisher Price Rainforest {This is the one we have, I think I paid less than $100 at consignment}
*Fisher Price Zen Swing {We’ve borrowed this one with Ave, it’s nice, but way too expensive}

Sound Machine
I know for some people this is an unnecessary item, but for us…they are awesome! I never used to sleep with a sound machine, until I visited Matt at college with his mom {who had one}. Now I don’t leave home without it and each of the kids’ rooms has one. They’re great for creating a gentle sound that can drown out the rest of a crazy house.

*Cloud B Sound Machine Sheep {I don’t like that this one turns off after a while, baby usually wakes up when that happens}
*Graco Sound Machine {This is my preferred sound machine}

Coconut Oil

That’s right coconut oil. It’s great for diaper rash, sore nipples, dry skin, a quick spoonful for energy…you name it and coconut oil is probably good for it. With Ave I just used the lanolin ointment which reminded me of the smell of wool sweaters in Ireland {lanolin is the oil in sheep wool}, with the triplets we had coconut oil for everything.

*Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Wednesday, April 29

What’s for breakfast?

The other day I shared a picture on Instagram about what our breakfast was: Eggs, toast, and some leftover sausage from the night before.  One follower from New Zealand commented:

”I never knew so many Americans cook their breakfasts. I feel a bit guilty that we all just have cereal and toast here.”

What's for Breakfast Why a family of 6 chooses to cook every morning.

Which got me thinking what do most people have for breakfast in the US or elsewhere?

I’ve never been a big breakfast food person: Pancakes made me sick. I hated eggs, bacon, or sausage. Oatmeal was out, unless it was instant Maple Sugar. My parents couldn’t afford to keep us in cereal constantly. I honestly don’t remember much of what I had when I was a kid, at least on a regular basis. I remember my parents making pancakes, eggs, French toast, waffles, or crepes, but they weren’t an every day occurrence.

Even once I had married and moved out breakfast was most likely cinnamon raisin toast with peanut butter. It really wasn’t until Ave was actually eating that I ventured into breakfast food, particularly eggs. I had no idea even how to cook them for her, but I learned pretty quickly. We graduated from soft boiled eggs, which I could tolerate with toast, to over easy and scrambled.

5 years later I actually like breakfast foods, enough to have them for dinner…yea.

Pancakes don’t make me sick if they’re gluten free {we love these!} I can eat over-easy eggs if they’re served with a veggie stir-fry or sausage {to mask the whites}. I can eat scrambled if they’re served over avocado, with pepper jack on toast. I’ll eat sausage gravy or eggs benedict {here’s my recipe} for breakfast! I even look forward to the weekends when Matt is home, when we make a big breakfast with eggs, toast, sausage and veggies!

What's for Breakfast Why a family of 6 chooses to cook every morning.

There’s a very simple reason why we cook breakfast every day…whether it’s baked oatmeal muffins, yogurt, eggs or pancakes: CEREAL IS EXPENSIVE! A box of cereal {the kind I’ll actually buy and eat…yes, I’m picky about that too} is $4.50 a box or more. The kids will eat an entire box in about 10 minutes, and be looking for more. We just can’t afford that. Of course, there are all those other reasons about breakfast being the most important meal of the day and such, but for us…it’s money.

What do you eat for breakfast, whether every day or only on the weekends?

Monday, April 13

Washing the White House Duds

Laundry is kind of a never-ending thing around here….particularly when certain individuals decide they need a new outfit every time they roll out of bed. I’ve tried several systems: I’ve tried the wash and fold a load every day, which left me feeling like I was NEVER DONE! I’ve tried the do it all in one day, which left me searching for clothes for people to wear. I’ve tried the don’t ever do it, which, for obvious reasons, never worked.

I still don’t have a system. If you’re looking for a post that’s going to share a tried and true, perfect for everyone method…you will never find one, because there isn’t. Everyone has to figure out what works best for them, right now, in this season. This is mine…

None of our kids are really old enough to take on the responsibility of “doing” laundry. Yes, they’ll help with little things, when it’s exciting, but for the most part laundry falls to me and Matt {yes, he helps}, and that’s ok. Because in about 3 years I figure I won’t have to do anything {nice fantasy right?!}.

So, what do we do?

We do laundry as it comes in, when we have time, and when the mood strikes.
Wow! That seems rather “whatever” doesn’t it?! 
Yup. And it works for us.Washing the White House Duds: 3 Simple Tips for Not Losing Your Mind When You Are Losing the Laundry War, from a Mom of Triplets+ 1

There are days {and I mean the time frame of clothing lying in the same spot for over 24 hours} when clothes lay strewn about the house before I manage to wrangle them all together and in a pile somewhere near the bathroom or laundry room. Right now…not gonna lie. There’s stuff tossed about the kitchen, the mudroom, the living room, the bathroom, and the bedrooms. Probably a good 5 or 6 loads of laundry. Does it drive me nuts? Yup. But I’ve had to learn how to let it go.

Sometimes clothes are neatly in hampers or piles ready to be carried to the laundry room and washed. This usually only happens immediately following ALL the laundry being washed, and lasts until the first shower.

What usually happens is that we have a mix of these 2 things occurring. Some clothes are neatly piled, ready to go, and some clothes are strewn about. It just takes Matt or I actually getting them into the machine, out of the machine {before they need to be washed again}, and into the dryer.

Once things are dry, they kind of sit in those big blue Ikea bags until the mood strikes to fold them. Usually once or twice a week. Matt and I will put a movie on and sit for the duration folding all those bags of laundry and sorting them into piles of what goes in which draw in whose room {this makes it a lot easier to put away…one pile for each draw…I can put all the clothes away for everyone in less than 10 minutes}. Then put all of the girls’ clothes in one bag, all of the boys’ in another, then put those bags in their rooms to go in the draws.

Washing the White House Duds: 3 Simple Tips for Not Losing Your Mind When You Are Losing the Laundry War, from a Mom of Triplets+ 1

Somehow it always amazes me how much clothing there is. The boys only have 3 pairs of pants each, 3 sweatshirts and a handful of tees. The girls are another story. I’m constantly weeding through to pare down what they have, so I’m not washing the same things that don’t fit over and over again.

Here are my 3 basic tips to help tame the laundry leviathan…


Laundry Tips

Washing the White House Duds: 3 Simple Tips for Not Losing Your Mind When You Are Losing the Laundry War, from a Mom of Triplets + 1

You can only wash as many clothes as you have. What do I mean….if you have 30 shirts, you’ll wash 30 shirts, but if you only have 3, you can only wash 3. It is for this reason that our kids don’t have a ton of clothes, that I don’t have a ton of clothes, and Matt has more clothes than all of us combined {I keep working on him}.

Don’t be disheartened when your “system” stops working. That’s life. Nothing works forever. What works this week, isn’t going to work next week. Do what you need to right now to have clean clothes and not lose your mind. Maybe that’s a wash basket per room, and people live out of the clean laundry in that basket. Maybe things are color coded and perfectly folded in drawers. Maybe it’s walking around in your undies, waiting for clean clothes to dry.

Find a baseline and hold that as your standard, not Pinterest. Whatever it is, figure out what your minimum effort for sanity is and hold that as your bar. Anything above is fantastic! At this you’ll at least be able to focus on doing what you have to do, rather than being overwhelmed with what you think you should have done.

*Bonus: Get rid of your bulky wash baskets! We used to have them all over the house. I invested in about 10 big blue Ikea bags {a whopping $6.00} and it’s great! They’re huge, they crumple up really small, and they’re indestructible.

You can check out what my laundry room looks like HERE!