“Dame Wash Alot.” Or rather, damn! I wash a lot…

20141006-194356.jpg
After seeing a post today by Be A Fun Mum and a recent post about washing by Barbara Good from The New Good Life, I thought I’d share how I tackle the never ending piles.
Pictured, is my indoor washing line. It doesn’t matter what season it is here in Victoria, there’s pretty much always a chance of rain. My dirty little boys can go through two to three changes of clothes a day easily, so with all those ‘little people clothes’ I often run out of pegs outside on the washing line. Thus, the overflow goes on here, a sturdy, tidy clothes rack with ample room, that doesn’t collapse like some of the other crappy wire/metal ones you can buy.
In addition to this, sometimes it can be 11pm before I get a chance to hang washing out so this way it’s easy to hang inside before I go to bed and is often dry by morning. It was originally one large playpen which was awesome for about 6 months but quickly out grown. This has given it another life – sideways. The beauty of this system is that I have room for a basket for each family member beneath so I can sort and fold straight into the baskets (with their names written on them!) That way, even if I haven’t put it away yet they know exactly where to find their clothes without having to rake through a big pile. In the photo, they are in the dining room-come playroom, but they are very light weight so I move them around the house to wherever I feel they are most out of the way at the time. The other thing that I love about my indoor washing line is that through winter we are running the heater anyway, so we might as well take advantage of this, killing two birds with one stone (awful expression!) instead of running the clothes dryer as well.
Another system I have which I think helps a lot is that I wash our clothes separately so they are easy to sort. The kids have a dirty clothes basket so I wash theirs together, my husband has two – one for his filthy work clothes and one for his casual clothes and I do mine separately. There is another basket in the bathroom for towels and linen. If I’m honest I pretty much always dry these in the clothes dryer. I don’t really use it for much else as its so expensive but towels come off the line like cardboard otherwise. (I’m not into chemical softeners.)
Finally, I don’t iron. Not one thing. I don’t even have an ironing board. I think there is an iron in a cupboard somewhere that a guest once bought to iron her shirt for a job interview. Honestly, life is too short and I am too busy. I spent my childhood watching my mother loathe her piles of ironing and while granted, thanks to her hard work, we always looked immaculate, I don’t want to spend 1/4 of my life ironing. Im not going to get to my death bed and think “gee, I wish I’d ironed that shirt in 2005.” Maybe when the kids start school next year I might do school uniforms but even then, with boys pants and polo shirts, I think I could get away with drying them on hangers. A lot of fabrics these days don’t crease badly anyway unless you’re wearing 100% cotton.
So there you go. That’s how I tackle the endless, thankless chore of washing! Well, me and a gigantic 10kg washing top loading machine.
Feel free to comment with your tips!

Facebook Page

Advertisements

What goes down, must come up.

20140815-203019.jpg

The town where I live rests between two steep hills. We live on the top of one hill. The kindergarten is on the top of the other.

20140815-205618.jpg
So I suppose it’s a matter of perspective – an absolute b#%ch of a walk, or an ideal way to fit a decent workout into my life.

20140815-205319.jpg
Today, I chose the latter view. With skies blue enough to inspire the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, I got my inactive arse off the couch and walked the beautiful tree lined streets to J5’s kindergarten. It was wonderful! I was essentially drunk on vitamin D.

20140815-210013.jpg
I’m slightly obsessed with trees.
Little R2 has a toy camera and it gives me such joy to see him taking pretend photos of trees like his mum. I can’t help it – I just find their winter branches spectacular.

20140815-210140.jpg
Lovely limbs, all connected, stretching up and out in search of sun and sky.

20140815-210216.jpg
Remember how Rumplestiltskin asked for straw to be spun into gold?

20140815-211024.jpg
I think I found his gold… Stunning!

20140815-211137.jpg
I’m proud of myself for tackling those hills today. It felt like the first step towards curing myself of a hearty dose of the winter blues. What goes down, must come up.

20140815-205842.jpg

The Most Surprising Moments

20140805-155937.jpg

Most surprising are those moments in mothering,
When you’ve done nothing but shout all day
and you’ve wished yourself far away,
To somewhere quiet, somewhere clean,
Somewhere where white linen is more than a silly idea.

When being a mother is swallowing you like a prescription pill,
and you’re breathless with quiet rage.
Frozen in the face of anxiety and expectation,
And guilt and judgement
And paperwork.

When the tedium of washing and cleaning
and questions and cooking and washing and feeding
and fighting,
is equal to the weight you now carry on your stay at home mum belly…
And everybody is asking you “what’s for dinner?”

There will be a sparkling little moment,
A tiny shiny jewel,
Worth far more than the ring that brought you here.
Perhaps more precious and bewildering
than even conception itself.

Your little boy with his enormous heart,
And eyes like your own,
will for no reason other
than the fact that you are his mother,
Say to his brother, “let’s go and pick mum some flowers!”

And his brother will say “yes, good idea!
But not too many.
Because flowers are nature
and without nature,
we can’t breathe.”

In those most surprising moments,
I’m so thankful I am here.
And I smile at my babies
Who noticed the pretty daisies
Long before their mother.

20140805-160102.jpg

facebook page

Winter Garden

20140804-170515.jpg

From the excitement of settling snow so close to home last week, to the magical morning visits by Jack Frost over the past couple of days, our garden and entire local landscape has been experiencing an exciting, changing face. The nights and early mornings are icy cold but the days have been bursting with sunshine and colour.

20140804-172047.jpg

As I hustled the kids out the door for an early kinder start this morning, we found ourselves quite side tracked by our frozen garden, sparkling under the gradual rising of the sleepy sun.

20140804-172434.jpg

The garlic, leeks and cabbages are all coping quite well with the extremes, apart from a few hungry slugs or snails and a soccer ball here or there.

20140804-172212.jpg

The peas, though still growing, have been flattened by recent winds and rather than climbing up its legs and levels, appear to be snoozing at the base of our tee pee.

20140804-184139.jpg

The leaves of broccoli and cauliflower are staggering under the weight of the heavy frost but should perk up as they thaw out – much like the rest of us.

20140804-184504.jpg

The kids were absolutely delighted to see Jack Frost had signed his handy work on the back of my car.

20140804-184731.jpg

And as the afternoon cheered up, I took the boys for a walk around the neighbourhood. Set among the naked trees, stark and beautiful against blue skies, we noticed the gums, quintessentially Australian, still dressed in their slender leafy best.

20140804-185746.jpg

And my nose tickled as we passed by golden wattle blooms whispering “Spring is coming! Spring is coming!”

20140804-190158.jpg
Facebook page

Snow Day!

I realise for many of you, snow is nothing new. But for us here in central Victoria, Australia, it’s a real rarity.
Don’t get me wrong, it gets cold, really cold. Frost covered lawns, hail, rain and crazy winds. Even snow occasionally, but rarely does it fall so heavily and settle on the ground so thick.
Today was just magical for us. Our boys now 5 and almost 3, have never seen snow and I haven’t had many opportunities in my life either to have a snowball fight or build a snowman. Limbs and leaves clothed in sparkling white, it was truly a sight to behold.

20140801-225746.jpg
We live in a country-ish town at the foot of Mount Macedon and this afternoon we bundled the kids into the car in their warmest woollies and headed up the mountain. Snow began hitting the windscreen as we drove higher and was met with squeals of delight… By all of us!
Honestly, it was like driving into Narnia.

20140801-212651.jpg
A place where magic happens and memories are made.

20140801-220124.jpg
The kids were beside themselves when we jumped out of the car, running off to make tracks in the snow, noticing how it crunched beneath their boots.

20140801-220814.jpg
Television has obviously taught them about snow ball fights as they wasted no time getting stuck into that.

20140801-221042.jpg
And before long, C and I joined in too.

20140801-231446.jpg
J5 got busy rolling snowballs…

20140801-221957.jpg
While R2 went exploring…

20140801-222143.jpg
And of course, snowmen were constructed by cold, wet little hands.

20140801-222617.jpg
Big and small…

20140801-222855.jpg
It was the most fun we’ve had as a family in as long as I can remember.

20140801-230506.jpg
Sometimes as adults we forget how to just play

20140801-233236.jpg
Home for hot showers, hot cuppas and hot, salty fish n’ chips.
Perfection 🙂

Check out my facebook page

Toy Storage

20140714-152412.jpg

I was just having a read of Barbara’s blog over at the new good life and she was talking about de-cluttering and the never ending battle against kids toys taking over our living areas.
Thought I’d post a few pics of some of my storage solutions.
That unit pictured with the shelving and wire drawers is brilliant for toys. I originally purchased it for the laundry but found the drawers weren’t big enough to be very practical for sorting our mountains of washing. For toys however, it’s ideal. It tucks away neatly in a corner. I can categorise types of toys in each drawer eg: cars in one, musical instruments in another, action figures in a third, puzzles in the fourth. And because the baskets are wire and the shelves open, the kids can easily see what they’re looking for without tearing 5 million toys apart as they do when they are all in a toy box.
Lego is a whole new world for us since my son’s 5th birthday a few weeks ago so at the moment we are working from an upturned kids’ play table. It keeps it contained and I can easily move it from the floor to the dining room table depending on where the kids are playing but long term I’m working on a better solution. Stay tuned!
And of course, every little boy needs a weapons chest yes?? Sigh… I quickly came to the realisation that boys will turn anything they can get their hands on into a gun or a sword so I’d rather it be something made of plastic than – my curtain rods for example. Or my now ruined rolls of wrapping paper. Or their father’s guitar, an attachment for the pram, a hobby horse, a broom… You get the idea.

20140714-155151.jpg
The formula tins pictured contain sorted small toys like army men, smurfs, animals, marbles and other bits and pieces. The empty baby wipes box holds about 50,000 matchbox cars. The shelf of books is the spillover from another matching bookcase full of children’s books.
I’d like to say this is where their toys begin and end but there is still a big plastic bucket tucked under the coffee table and 3 tubs of craft supplies in a cupboard. Plus other things like board games hiding away in any nook and cranny I can find!
How do you store your kids toys? Are you winning the war?
Don’t forget to check out my facebook page!

Slow Cooked Porridge – with apple, cinnamon and maple syrup

20140714-090914.jpg

The Best Winter Breakfast. EVER!
This morning we woke to the most delicious aroma of cinnamon and apple wafting through the house. If you ever needed a reason to get out of bed on a chilly morning, this is it!
J5 declared “yummy!” And R2 took one look at his bowl and said, “don’t like porridge.” Which is typical, but I managed to dot a small amount on the bottom of his lip from the spoon and watched his scowl turn into a smile declaring, “I do like porridge!”
Bowls were licked clean and with basically no effort at all, little bellies were sent off to kinder warm and content.

*Note: as this this breakfast cooks itself over night, it will only work if you’re a bit of a night owl like me as it will be ready in 6-7 hours. I put it on before bed at 11.30pm and it is ready to eat when we get up at 6.30am.

SLOW COOKED PORRIDGE with apple, cinnamon and maple syrup
Serves 4

1. 2 cups of rolled oats
2. 2 chopped apples – I used red delicious as that’s what I had but any variety will work fine.
3. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
5. 4 cups of water

Combine in your slow cooker/crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Dish into bowls and let stand for a couple of minutes while it cools and thickens a little.
Serve as is or with milk, extra honey, chopped almonds, fresh grated apple… Etc
Enjoy the goodness 🙂

Check out my facebook page