Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advice from the Ouintuplet Mom

I've been following this cute blog since before these quints were born.

Her advice on this post was interesting.
(Even if you don't have time to read her advice, check out the picture at the end :)

"With seven children, including five one-year-olds, time is a precious commodity—especially around the holidays! Because of that, I am always on the lookout for ways to save time. Here are my top ten time-saving tips:

1. No sorting laundry---I used to take everyone’s laundry, put it together, sort it into whites, lights, darks and denim, wash each load and then re-sort things back into the appropriate person’s basket. I have recently discovered that in today’s color-fast world, all that sorting is unnecessary. Now I wash each persons clothes separately (except the babies—I still wash all of their clothes together). I wash everything on cold---it all comes out looking great and no time is spent sorting!

2. Pizza Cutters and Kitchen Shears---these are my favorite kitchen tools. They quickly cut everything from chicken to grilled cheese sandwiches into bite size pieces. Even when I just had one baby at a time, I always carried an extra pair of kitchen shears in my diaper bag.

3. Schedule Chores---I have a specific day for doing laundry, changing sheets, giving the babies a bath, etc. I find that if I schedule things, I plan for it and it gets done. If I don’t schedule it, it is too easy to put off.

4. Toy Bins for each day---The babies have way too many toys with a million parts. Instead of letting them play with all the toys everyday, I have divided the toys into five different bins. Each day I pull out a new bin of toys for the babies to play with. This saves time because I don’t have so many toys to clean up at the end of the day. It is also easier to play with the toys because the pieces are kept together. In addition, the babies don’t get sick of seeing the same toys everyday.

5. Freezer Sandwiches---Instead of making sandwiches for Riley and Kaiya’s lunches each morning, I make several sandwiches all at one time and keep them in the freezer. In the morning when things are rushed, I just grab one and throw it in the lunchbox. By lunchtime, the sandwich is thawed and ready to eat. This works great with all kinds of sandwiches—ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, etc. With only two school-age kids, I only have to make sandwiches about once every other week. I am sure that will all change when the quints go to school!

Sandwich production--PB with Nutella and PB with Jelly
6. Pay bills automatically---Each of my regular bills (water, phone, internet, electric, gas, TV, cell phone, mortgage, etc.) is set up to be automatically paid each month. Most companies now have a way to easily set this up. All my bills get paid on time without me doing anything, and I don’t have to spend money on stamps! For places that don’t offer automatic payments (like Riley’s piano teacher and Kaiya’s dance studio), I use my bank’s online bill pay to set up automatic payments.

7. Store trash bags in the bottom of the trash can
---I keep a roll of trash bags at the bottom of my trash cans. When the trash needs to be taken out, I don’t have to waste time searching for a new liner. When I have my kids take out the trash, seeing the roll on the bottom of the can is an extra reminder that they need to put a new liner in the can.

8. Brown several pounds of hamburger and freeze
---Whenever hamburger goes on sale for a good price, I buy about 10 lbs. Then I brown it all together (usually I do two batches of 5 lbs because of the size of my pot) and divide it into Ziploc freezer bags and toss it in the freezer. When I need it, the meat is very quick to thaw in the microwave and it works great for taco salads, sloppy joes, spaghetti sauce, casseroles, etc.

9. Pre-buy toys for birthday parties
---Once kids start going to school, it is amazing how many birthday parties they get invited to. If I find a good sale on toys, I will buy several and save them. When a party comes up, I am not forced to go to the store at the last minute and the kids still get to pick something they think their friend will like from the stash of toys I have saved.

10. Music---The power of music is amazing! If I am having troubles getting some of the babies to eat their baby food, I just start singing to them, and that usually distracts them enough that they will eat. When I want my older kids to get their rooms clean in a hurry, I turn on an energetic song (“Flight of the Bumblebees” works particularly well). When several babies are crying and needing my attention all at the same time, I can usually calm them down by singing “The Wheels on the Bus” or some other action song. At my house, The Wiggles rank right up there with disposable diapers and microwaves. Without The Wiggles, my family would never get dinner!
Kaydence, Kassidy, Kyndall, Ryder and Rustin are entranced by The Wiggles"

I don't think I could ever quit sorting laundry,
but then I don't have 5 babies.
If you would like to follow their blog:


Mary said...

I love these ideas. I plan to try the laundry idea this weekend (although there will always need to be a "whites" load for items needing bleach). I've been working on getting my kids to handle their own laundry--what a mess! If their load is made up of only their own laundry, though, I think they can get it done!

grandmapeg said...

Well...I could never stop sorting laundry either but with that many babies...I can see why she needs this method. She is so TOTALLY organized!!! These are some great ideas and I think the picture is sure cute...especially the 'lone redhead'!! Thanks for sharing this.

Lisa said...

This was so fun to read & I'm so glad you posted it. My sisters in law all have kids in school each with a minimum of 4 if not more. I plan to turn them to this post. That picture is so funny. Who could imagine such a scenario! Loved this! '

You really made my day with your "miss you" comment. I love you!

Ammy said...

Lots of good time saving tips. I love the hamburger one. I just started doing this a few months ago and boy, I love it.

Dad and Susan said...

Hi Jill, I really enjoyed the tips. I'm always up for quick ways to do things. When I lived in St. George while on a mission and had to pay to do laundry, I discovered this wonderful "tool." It is made by "Shout" and is a "Color Catcher." You can put one sheet of it in your load of mixed dark and white laundry and it "grabs" the colors that would ordinarily fade onto the white clothes. And boy, I attest that it works! New red pajamas in with whites and the color catcher sheet was all red, but not any of the white clothes. I swear by it. This picture is darling too. I'm especially fond of the red head. Two of my daughter LaDawn's kids are red heads. They are so cute.
Loved this post. Thanks for turning me onto another fascinating blog. Did they do in-vitro? Or did this just happen?
Love, Dad and Susan

The Gage Cage said...

That is some really great advice.

Anonymous said...

I think it particularly interesting that everyone points out the red head - I see just about every hair color in the spectrum. Soooo cute!

Grandpa Shayne said...

This looks like tried and true advice! My mom had 14 kids with one set of twins, and her mom had 14 kids with two sets of twins. I don't know how they ever did it. Just the old pioneer spirit I guess. My wife and I had 5, but not at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I think I love this lady. I just love organizing.

The kids are so cute. I love that picture of them watching TV.