Hi! Today I have two tips for you that, if you were struggling in these areas as I was, will have you falling down on your knees in gratitude! And, if you were not struggling in these areas, will have you thinking that I am the reason tech support always starts by asking you if your computer is plugged in.
First tip involves cans of frozen orange juice concentrate. They have little plastic strips around the end, and you pull off the strip and then you can pry off the metal lid. I always had to really pry, so that it would come off suddenly, flinging out slaps of orange juice concentrate onto me, the counter, the cupboards, etc. Or at least there would be that cringing feeling of waiting for that to happen as I had to pry harder and harder and harder. Well! It turns out that if you hold the can firmly on the counter and pull straight UP on the strip as you're pulling it off, the lid comes off way, way, way more easily! I = genius!
Second tip involves making sandwiches in a family of so many children you don't know what to do. I still make Rob's lunch for him (perhaps my next tip, after I go mad from making so many sandwiches, will be "Have your second grader make his own goddamned lunch"), and every morning the sandwich-making part of it overwhelms me. I hate making sandwiches, and it has to be done every morning, and I don't like the smell of peanut butter first thing, and it seems like it's the hardest thing to find time for. By the time lunch comes around, I don't mind it so much, and in fact I often thought to myself, "It's too bad I can't make Rob's sandwich now, when I'm making the other kids' sandwiches." And this is where my genius idea comes in. What I do now is, every day at lunchtime I make three sandwiches: one for the twins to share, one for William, and one to put in a plastic sandwich box and put into the freezer. The next morning, I can pop the sandwich box into Rob's lunch. It feels so much better to do it this way, especially on the busier mornings when I feel like I'm going to be very lucky not to be in my pajamas at the bus stop.
Furthermore, I have accumulated a little stash of freezer sandwiches, because if I make a sandwich unexpectedly (such as if Rob is still hungry and there is no more dinner, or if the twins eat their shared sandwich and want another), I make a second one at the same time. Not only does this give me another sandwich to put in the freezer, it lessens the "Oh, god, I thought I was done with sandwiches for the day, and now I have to make another sandwich" feeling. I never mind an activity as much if it feels efficient, which is probably why I have so many children, and probably why I didn't feel that twins were that big of a deal: as long as I'm feeding one child, I might as well feed five; as long as I'm changing one diaper, I might as well change two; as long as I'm reading to one baby, I might as well read to two; etc.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...