Monday, May 28, 2012

The Library Game

My kids L.O.V.E books. We can seriously never have enough. We used to go to the library every week until our 2 year old ripped one page and another book might have been ripped by her but might not have...anyway A LOT of money later and I couldn't afford the library anymore! So now I go to yard sales primarily to find new books.

We have been trying to move for 2 years now and all the non essentials in the house have been packed up for about that long (LOOOOONG STORY!). So to keep things fresh and to reduce clutter I packed up almost all the books and every week or so I grab a huge pile, lay it out on the couch for the kids to pick from, give them one of my credit cards or other plastic type cards and we play library. They each get to pick out 5. They bring them to me and I swipe their card and we check each book out and then we all sit together and read them all. We put all of the unpicked books (including the previous weeks') back in a box. So much better then 100 books being dispersed around the house every day by my 2 year old.

The kids really do get sooo excited and we seem to be reading even more with this method. I don't get tired of the books like I used to when we would read the same books 3 times a day for 3 months at a time! I think it is a win win. We still go to the real library sometimes because ours is seriously the coolest building ever but I get so nervous about torn pages that I don't let them look at them by themselves--which is one of their favorite parts.

I have even been able to get my kids to clean up without complaining when I tell them we'll play the library game once the room is clean. It's amazing how quickly they can do things when they want to! Happy Reading!!!

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Check out the contest at the right. It is super easy to enter and the odds are so ridiculously good right now. I'd check it out if I were you!
Hope you're enjoying your Memorial Day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Best Ribs EVER!!!!

I love barbecuing in the summer. I barbecue everything from meat to baked potatoes to all my vegetables. I am addicted to red meat but I have to say that nothing tops the Country Style Pork Rib recipe I'm going to share. You're going to love me for this. S.e.r.i.o.u.s.l.y! Here's the very complex insanely easy recipe:

Country Style Boneless Pork Ribs--however much you want
Ziploc Freezer Bags
Yoshida's Original Sauce (you can get a ginormous bottle at Costco)
Soy Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce (I still cannot pronounce that correctly!)

Put your ribs in the bag. Pour in enough Yoshida sauce to cover everything really well. Put in a squirt of soy sauce and worcestershire sauce for approximately every 2 ribs.

Marinate over night OR throw in the freezer and it will be PERFECT when you defrost.

BBQ on medium for about 45 minutes. Flip once. This is the perfect amount of time for a baked potato and grilled broccoli to cook in tin foil too. Woila! Easy and so incredibly delicious. I've seen these ribs as low as $0.99 before so it is an incredibly cheap way to have a perfect summer bbq!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Ultimate How To Clean Up Your Child Who Has Just Vomitted in The Car Post!

My husband was out of town Monday and Tuesday this week (which I don't handle well), my week long cold wasn't slowing, baby wasn't sleeping enough at night and the weight of our financial and housing plight was weighing me down. Wednesday came and my sweet hubby could sense my distress--he piled me and the kids in Steve (only Stargate Atlantis fans might get our car's name) along with premade sandwiches from the freezer and snacks from the picnic box (I"ll post on that later).

We took a drive and let the baby sleep and the big girls eat lunch and watch a movie while I tried to unwind. We drove along the side of a lake and commented on how much the road felt like a roller coaster. Then we heard that sound you dread any time--especially while in the car.

The oldest had eaten a really good lunch but unfortunately got car sick before she could warn us. It was all over her and her booster seat and was leaking onto the floor. LOVELY.

Since we practically live in our car during the summer while we go out on our adventures, I keep it well stocked. We grabbed a garbage sack and some baby wipes and I started scooping it up and piling the dirty rags in the sack. Once we had her cleaned up enough to move, my hubby got her out and we undressed her and put her in a clean outfit (we keep a complete wardrobe change for each kid in a ziploc bag under their seat). We wiped down the seat belt and the booster as best as possible with the wipes. Then we put the clean towel down, put her back in, threw the dirty sacks in the back and were off towards home. My hubby and I gave each other a "dude" for a job well done.
What would we have done if we didn't have wipes or a bag or a change of clothes? That happened once on the side of a busy freeway. Never again!

So if you missed my essential list here it is again:

  • Garbage Sacks (1 for clothes and 1 for wipes)
  • Baby wipes (not just the travel kind that only have 4 or so--that isn't enough)
  • Bottle of water (use this to rinse off or rewet dried wipes)
  • Clean outfit for each person in a ziploc bag
  • Clean towel - this comes in handy in so many instances. I used mine once to dry a puddle on the slide at the park and was an instant hero to all the kids there!
  • Bowl--in case you have a repeat offender
  • Hand sanitizer for your hands after
Once home we threw the dirty clothes in the wash, the garbage in the garbage and then washed the booster cover. EASY PEASY.
Here's hoping you never have to use any of these things but if you ever do, you won't regret being this prepared.

Friday, May 4, 2012

You don't have to have an Electrolux to be Awesome

Are you like me and find that the laundry is sucking your life out of you? I've found myself fantasizing about what it would be like if that wretched chore would magically complete itself. But reality always finds its way in baskets and mounds to tell me I'm just wishful thinking.
I decided to investigate my laundry folding habits to see if I couldn't maximize my time and allow for more bon bon time (yeah...more like playing horsies with the girlets time).

I hope some of these tips help you. The most important tip is first! For this demonstration I used 4 large loads of laundry for 5 people and from start to finish (everything put away) I spent 25 minutes including getting snacks for the kids, getting a 2 year old to stop spinning all of the toilet paper off  the roll and putting it back on, pausing to eat snacks the kids made for me--thankfully they tasted good, entertaining a 4 year old chatterbox and being super quiet while putting away the kids clothes because the baby was sleeping (yeah, all 3 share a room). :)

1. Give Yourself A Pep Talk -- Seriously!
Look that pile of laundry in its big mound of a face and say to it :"You don't scare me!" Ok so maybe you don't have to say that but you at least need to think it. I found myself always feeling overwhelmed and told myself it would take forever and I would never finish.When I flipped my thinking, I have folded the laundry in half the time--seriously!

2.Prepare your battle zone Work Area
In a perfect laundry filled world I would fold as I pull the laundry out but that never seems to happen. I usually start with this:

Then I dump like this: (you could use a bed or a table but it is best elevated--not the floor)

Then I lay out a basket for each person:
Then I stand between the empty baskets and the mound and I begin to fold.

3, You Touch It, You Fold It
I don't sort. If the kids want to help I let them sort socks and things but if I pick something up I fold it. A few exceptions are allowed for this rule - socks, and items I hang. I find I save so much time by just tackling the mound instead of sorting first. Socks for everyone get their own pile on the bed and then I lay the hang up pile in separate his and hers piles either on the floor or on  the back of a chair and then I drape the kids hang up stuff over the edge of their basket.

Hang up pile
Sock pile
4. Getting to know your basket
I designate a spot in each basket for bottoms, tops, pajamas, unders, etc. This makes unloading really easy.

 Kids baskets:
Rag/towel basket: (I use a new rag/towel every day) 

 5. Finishing touches
After I do all the folding, I match socks, put the hang up pile onto hangers and then I put everything away.

*Note: My second timed run I had an overwhelming 8+ loads to fold. I set a goal to do it in 30 minutes. I have kids and well...I folded everything in 31 minutes but putting away took another 11  minutes for a total of 42 minutes. Not too bad! Do you have any laundry folding tips?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Contest tomorrow

There is going to be another contest on my facebook page tomorrow. :) Just thought you'd like to know.