Thursday, June 6, 2013

Alexander at 8 Months

Alexander is a busy, busy baby now. He's up, down, all over, and into everything. He loves being able to move though and all of the activity has him napping better again, so that is good.

At 8 months Alexander:

  • Is 20 pounds and 30 inches
  • Is wearing 12-18 month clothes
  • Can say Mamma and Dadda
  • Loves eggs and sweet potatoes and bangs on his tray for more (hasn't caught onto any actual sign language yet, but definitely wants to communicate)
  • Pulls himself up on all kinds of furniture
  • Cruises around the couches and even transfers from one piece of furniture to another with relative ease
  • Thinks he should be able to do everything his brothers can do
  • Still scoots around on his tummy really fast (although just today I saw him do a tiny bit of real crawling, so maybe that will catch on soon
  • Can be very focused and have a good attention span if we're interacting with him
  • But won't sit still if he isn't being held or strapped into a seat, so he still can not sit steadily by himself
  • Has a great smile and laugh and is already developing his own little sense of humor

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mandarin Mondays: SOS and Wait for a Reply

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Life on the Flip Side: Laundry

Or in which I go crazy and air my dirty (and clean) laundry all over the internet.

I am going to be writing a series entitled: Life on the Flip Side: Learning how things work on the other side of the world. I want to record a little bit of how our daily life works right now, so I can remember later. I'm guessing this won't be the most interesting series for that many people, but I do know one person who will appreciate it (Hi Grandma!), so I figured I might as well go ahead and publish these thoughts.

Today I'll show you briefly how I do laundry, later I'll show you how we do some other things, which may or may not be more exciting.

Our laundry set up is on the balcony off of our bedroom. Our washing machine is a bit smaller than most in America, probably about half of the capacity of a standard American machine. Dryers also aren't common here and are hugely expensive, both to purchase and power, so we just do what most people do here and line dry all of our laundry. We have to bars on the balcony to hang the laundry to dry on. They can be raised and lowered with a crank. The balcony is covered so the laundry doesn't get rained on. It actually isn't a big deal to me to hang up the laundry with this set up and now I have helpers too.

I took these pictures on a day back in February when I needed to get three loads of laundry done in one day. I normally don't do more than one or two, but I got behind had to catch up. I figured taking pictures to blog about this process might motivate my to actually catch up.

Crank to raise and lower bars
I washed one load before I started taking pictures. But since the first load I washed was the diapers, it is probably a good thing, you don't really need to see our dirty diapers. You can use your imagination or not as you see fit.

In the washer you can see the clean diapers, a green washer ball (which helps ionize the water and decreases our need for detergent), a couple other colored washer balls (which increase agitation as this machine only has an agitator at the bottom), and off to the right side of the washing machine you can see my detergent and fabric softener.

Diapers are the highest priority laundry item around here, so on days I need to do more than one load, I try to wash these first. We don't want to run out of diapers. Even if split pants and no diapers are culturally appropriate; we don't use that method for many messy reasons.

Once the diapers are done I summon my minions subjects children/helpers and set a classical music timer to get us all hanging up the laundry fast. The only way I can get anything besides basic household chores done in the day is to have the kids help, so I train them to help as soon as they are able.

I spread out the diapers over the bars and railings to get then to dry as fast as possible.

My biggest helper can grab laundry from the machine and  clip them up while standing on a step ladder.


 And the littler helper clips up diaper wipes inside. Many hands make light work.

And we're down with load number one! Many days (and definitely if it is cold and rainy and things are taking a long time to dry) I would be all done with laundry for the day. But February was warm and dry and I needed to catch up on laundry.

Alright, moving right along to the second load. We don't use many paper products so I ask my helpers to bring me the handkerchiefs and the kitchen rag/towels as I start to load up the washer again.

Here comes a cutey with the handkerchiefs.

I add some homemade laundry detergent.

And I fill up my downy ball with vinegar for fabric softener. 

The only way to get hot or warm water to the washing machine is to carry it from the bathtub as the machine is only hooked up to cold. So if we want to run a load with a hot or warm wash, if we're trying to conserve water, of if our cold water has been shut off but we still have hot solar water from the roof, we fill buckets in the bathtub and fill up the machine that way.

Here I had taken a bath and then pretreated and let soak some laundry that needed extra attention. Then we filled the washer with water from the bathtub as well.

Full to the max and ready to go.

Alright, finished hanging up the second load by 1pm. All of my hanging bars and railings are completely full now and I would definitely be done with laundry most days. But it is fairly warm and dry so this will dry quickly. I throw one more load of wash into the machine to hang up later.

 We have some things to do and leave the house for a while.

When we come back in the evening I take down the sheets and diapers that are dry and hang up the last load in between any items that are still damp.

Because of the relatively small area,
everything gets hung on hangers and then hung perpendicular
to the bars to maximize the drying space

The little boys shirts and sweater vests are cute all hanging in a row. :)

And the boys are even cuter as they help me fold the diapers, while I take care of making the bed.

In case your wondering how helpful baby is in all of this, he still only has two jobs.

To dirty the diapers.

And be a good boy and smile when we play diaper peek-a-boo.

And we're done! Three loads of laundry washed. One and a half loads folded and put away. Time to read stories, eat treats, hug my boys, and go to bed.

If I blogged about laundry more often I might not get behind, my balcony would get cleaned more frequently, but any readers might be even more bored.

For the next Life on the Flip Side post I'll talk about shopping, which should be more interesting than laundry. And at least I have cute helpers to take pictures of.

DIY Post-it or Sticky Notebook Holder

I wanted to make a little gift to give a few friends here, so I made these quick Sticky Notebook Holders. I think they turned out quite cute, and everyone I gave them to seemed to like them. These little notebooks are an easy, quick, and frugal gift. Here is a quick look at how I made them.

Homemade Post-it or Sticky Notebook Holder

  • Post-it or other sticky note pad(s)
  • Cardstock, scrapbook paper, gift bag, or other decorative paper
  • Button(s)
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick (optional)
  1. First I cut out long rectangles out of the gift bag I was using for my decorative paper. I cut the rectangles slightly wider than the sticky notes and almost three times as long (about 4 inches by 9 inches). The exact dimensions of your rectangle will of course depend on what size sticky note pads you are using.
  2. Fold the rectangle to fit sticky note pad. I tried to make folds to wrap around each side and then back around the front again halfway (at approximately 3.5 inches, then 0.25 inch further, then 3.5 inches, then 0.25 inch, leaving about 1.75 inches). Again your dimensions will depend on the size of your note pads.
  3. Then I sewed a button onto the front cover. I sewed it onto the piece that went all of the way across the front and then tucked the half under it like a tab.
  4. Lastly I stuck the sticky notepads into the cover. I used a glue stick to make sure they stayed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...