Blogging around today I found this so as not to go on and on on her comments I thought I'd share here.
We doubled and halved our household many times. Topped out at eight, six are here now.
Laundry - anyone who can dress themself has to do their own laundry. Each person has a laundry morning and a laundry afternoon. On morning laundry day sheets and blankets go into the washer when you wake up, I push it through and make the bed when done. Afternoon laundry gets thrown in the pillowcase, all dumped in the washer, (who sorts at eight?) ****This worked when we had older kids, three of our six are three so I do their laundry. It actually worked better with eight than it does now, with eight you have to follow the schedule.
We drive a Toyota Sienna, seats eight and all seats have anchors. Three carseats fit in the back seat.
All kids have a bathroom cubby in their room. Shoebox drawers from Target. One bin holds toothpaste, tooth brush etc, the other their shower stuff. That way no one dumps someone elses shampoo or swipes the toilet with someone elses toothbrush. (Been doing this awhile). Hooks in bedroom to hang bath towels.
We also do not babyproof, we use doorlocks on all the doors with a hook and bungee keychain hanging higher than 5 year old height for the key. This keeps little ones from messing with the older ones, older ones appreciate and respect the lock and stay out. Purely psychological as the key is right there.
Travel tip - pack what you can when you get home. We fly a lot so we have 3-1-1 bags packed at all times. Just grab and go. Do not give kids more advanced warning than you need, they'll bring everything. We travel by backpack only - each kid has a travel pack that they can carry when full, we do laundry on the road if necessary, only takes an hour at the laundry mat. Little ones we can pack in one bag and each gets to carry their comfort items in a backpack they can handle and I or dad have a front pack, or padding for the laptop. Don't pack jammies, pack sweats that way if you want to do something like rock climbing or need layering you're covered. I'm also incorporating this from now on.
Also LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT KIDS whenever you can. When you leave with your spouse don't talk about the kids, if all you can talk about is the kids you aren't doing it enough. During respite adults leave, kids stay. This has worked better for us, kids don't have the old feeling of getting uprooted, and who couldn't use a weekend away? Costs more money, but less "paying for respite" emotionally.
Hope this helps someone.
Cast of Characters
- BOB - Born of the body children
- BOTH - Born of the heart children
- Roran aka Big Girl - 18 year old BOB daughter - recently booted from the nest
- Big Boy - 15 year old BOB son
- Radical - 9 year old BOB son who fyi is not RAD
- Felpsy aka lil middle - 4 year old BOTH boy who is RAD and is the cumin in our soup
- Booger - 4 year old BOTH boy, sib to Felpsy, Twin to....
- Princess - 4 year old BOTH girl. Diva,