Thursday, August 29, 2013

Domestication breakthrough.

Ok, I am deviating from my typical blog posts because I have recently had a domestication breakthrough... 6 1/2 years into marriage and 5 years into mommyhood.
I want to shout from the rooftops what has been working for me, so this was the best way to do so. lol.
Here's the gist..
Yup, you read that correct.
 I have found a solution to my never ending laundry crisis in the Hawthorne home.
I am not about to tell you that my solution is the only way, I'm just here to tell what has been working for this stay-at-home, part-time work at home, homeschooling, mamma of a 5, 3 and 1 year old.
I'm sure as the kids get older, different seasons, this method will have to change, but for now, I'm rocking it out!
I'm also here to tell you that I did not come up with this on my own.
My dear friend came over to play a few weeks ago, and when I went on my typical rant about the fact that I can never keep up on the laundry, she very simply told me that she doesn't really have that problem.
I gasped.
She as well is a momma of a 4, 3 and 1 year old.
She told me what she does, and I immediately set out to give it a whirl. I mean, we all know the definition of insanity right? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. lol.
Guess what.
It's been working.
So here goes!!
1. Only use ONE laundry basket for all of the family's clothes. I know what you are thinking... but I have SUCH a cute hamper in my baby's room!!! Use it for toys, stuffed animals, I don't care what. But DON'T use it for dirty laundry! lol! I'm telling you, having all the laundry in many different rooms contributes to the chaos. I have one small basket that I can carry downstairs to the laundry room and it is in our master bedroom walk-in closet.
2. Get rid of all laundry baskets that hold enough dirty clothes to keep you washing for an entire weekend and still not be caught up. Kelly, my sweet neighbor, if you are reading this, I actually felt guilty when I gave you my big baskets a few weeks ago.. wondering if I was contributing to your laundry crisis. LOL.
3. Keep 3 small baskets in your laundry room for sorting. I have a very small laundry room, so there is not enough space to have a sorting hamper in there. So that's where my three small baskets on top of the washer and dryer come in. One for light, one for dark, and one for special attention clothes! hehe.
These baskets are $3.99 each at Target. Get them! lol!
4. EVERY MORNING bring down the small basket from the closet and sort clothes into correct baskets. This takes all of 5 minutes. No excuses! lol.
5. As soon as a basket load is full, throw it in. I usually do this first thing in the morning. Following coffee of course. This happens quickly since the sorting baskets are small.
6. On average, I'm doing around two loads every other day it seems like. Of course, when you have newborns in the mix, this will probably be a daily thing with all the burp clothes, blankets.. etc. On the days in between I will rotate with bedding.
7. As soon as a load is done, fold it and put it away. I did this very scientific experiment a few months ago and calculated the time it took me to casually take out a load from the dryer, bring it upstairs, fold it, and put it away. I know some of you are not going to believe me, but it took me 7 minutes. Of course, I wasn't distracted by a newborn or being requested by a toddler, but my friends, if we have a 10 minute window we can do this!!! lol!
 8. Let your kids help. Addyson, my 5 year old, was fully capable of folding, sorting and organizing her clean clothes into her drawers! And on top of it, she was excited to help and felt accomplished!
That's it.
NOTE: If you are like me, you will be appalled at how many clothes you actually have. When all the laundry is caught up, I could barely close my kids' drawers.. and let's not even talk about my own closet.. So unnecessary! We ended up going through all the clothes and finding an awesome local organization that we could donate some of them to. Good Will is good... but there are other organizations that are GREAT! Some of them are helping parents that can't afford to clothe their babies.. and they are doing it for free...  
One of those in my area is called Solutions For Change.
 We have lots on our plates as busy moms and dads.
Hopefully this little laundry tip will help a few of you, and maybe some of you can comment with some solutions that have worked for you!
Raising kids is an amazing blessing...and a lot of work! 
Let's conquer this laundry crisis so we can move on to the more important things!
 I can't begin to explain the little bit of freedom I have experienced from this little method. Those baskets that were always haunting me are gone.
Yes, there will be days where things will surely get behind, but let me tell you, this is a breakthrough!!

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Galations 6:9

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Something is brewing..

So maybe this is a little bit of a rant and a little bit of trying to sort my thoughts out. We shall see.
This morning I decided to take my kids on a "nature walk" around our perfectly HOA kept up neighborhood.
Without fail, almost every person I happened to pass by on the walk did a double take, or simply said out loud, "wow, you have your hands full!"
This is nothing new to me.
Somewhere around the having two kids and being pregnant I gave up the frustration of stranger's comments about God's choice to bless me with three kids by 30.
Oh, and the fact that I'm 5'1" on a good day doesn't help. Some how, my small stature makes people think I'm "one of the kids." I can testify that my smile lines prove otherwise along with the gray hairs I cover up every 8 weeks. And I still need to get those darn glasses ordered. Did you know that after having three kids I now need glasses!? Anyways..
I've honestly learned to smile and agree, realizing that their comment is not intended to make fun, but that in most cases, they truly do not understand how I do it.
Today I got to thinking.
It would be awesome to have a planned out response to this never ending comment. Something along the lines of, yes, my hands are full, but that is part of what keeps me leaning on Jesus DAILY. I have 3 little lives that are in my hands to teach, love, and grow. That's a BIG responsibility if you ask me, and the most important one after being wife to my awesome hubby. Indeed my hands are full. But it is NOT in my strength that I get by. I take no credit. And a lot of days I fail. As I yell at my kids to stop yelling.. you know.. those kinds of things.
Then, who KNOWS the types of conversations I might get into just by going into any public place!
Almost makes me want to have another one.
My "almost" lies not in the idea of having more children to raise in our home, but the idea of actually bringing them into the world. Okay, that was just a weird way of saying that our family has been seriously talking about the idea of adoption for some time now.
I can't help but wonder what the comments would be like if I were to add on another child to the mix. {insert devious laugh.. hehehe}
I honestly feel like the Lord has shown me a lot of things in just the last 6 months. I told my cousin yesterday, "I feel like I have a new brain."
It's really weird.
I've felt the Lord move me.. wake me up.. I don't know how else to put it.
I read Kisses From Katie {Katie Davis}, Radical {David Platt}, and now Seven {Jen Hatmaker} all within the last few months. Oh and Feminine Appeal twice.
I'm not kidding you, they are game changers my friends.
When you start to get a glimpse of the WORLD VISION and our responsibility as Christians and as one of the wealthiest nations on the ol' globe today, IT CHANGES YOU.
"Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31
I have no idea what God has up his sleeve at this point with this "new brain" if you will.. but I can attest that the desire and the burden for change is getting bigger and bigger.
By change I mean, a radical change in the way we "do life."
A change in how we see those in need around us.
A change in how we spend every $1 that the Lord blesses us with.
A change in how we see God.
He's bigger than most of us give him credit for. Myself included.
Anyways, much more to come on this heart change going on, but my small window of time before 3 smiling faces greet me is about to run dry and I still haven't gotten out of my pj's or cleaned up the paint from the carpet from this morning's "rock painting" project.
Okay, that was quite a ramble.
But something is brewing.. that's all I can say.