I solved our family's drinking problem.
Cups, cups, everywhere! Argghh! Just imagine, four little boys wanting drinks of water all day long. One teen girl nursing an ice water most of the day. Dirty, sweaty, yard-working men coming in for ice water. Add three meals a day times 8 people to that mix--and I just couldn't take the cup washing anymore.
I tried to manage it. I tried filling the boys water cups in the morning for breakfast and then having them leave their cups on the table, in THEIR SPOT, all day until dinner. But my perfectionist personality couldn't deal with that either. To me, a clean kitchen means NOTHING on the table, or counters. No dirty dishes anywhere in the house for that matter.
But my kids will tell you that nothing makes them more thirsty than the sight of a clean kitchen. Out come more cups...
I tried the portable water bottle routine--a different color for each kid. Chaotic. Drove me crazy. I had water bottles in various places at all times--registering in my brain as dirty dishes. Yuck.
I tried disposable water bottles. With young'uns, the lids are an issue as far as twisting them on and off and keeping track of them (can't afford to buy the pop-top water bottles!), and you definitely can't have lost lids on the floor with a crawling infant.
But thankfully, I found two amazing solutions.
1. Stabbing the tops of water bottles with a knife. It takes very little pressure, and it makes a little slit in the lid, and the boys can suck the water right out. Works for adults, too, for that matter, and leaves one hand free while driving or doing other things-no messing with the lids! The lid doesn't have to come off at all--can stay sealed shut! It is also quite spill-proof when tipped over. We also keep a permanent marker in the kitchen to write names on the bottles--which means we ALWAYS know whose is whose, and the bottle stays with the drinker until it is finished! No more throwing away half-full water bottles just because we don't know whose they were! The water bottles are used mostly for taking outside to play and for on-the-go in the car, field trips, parks, picnics, etc! And personally, to help alleviate my cups pet peeve, water bottles don't register in my brain as "cups" or "dishes," so my perfectionist personality is not quite as irked to see some water bottles sitting around. Go figure.
2. A Drinking Fountain Faucet Attachment! (See my photos and link below!) What genius! This nifty little whale pops right onto the bathroom faucet and directs the flow upwards into a drinking spout! It has been pure heaven to ditch the cups and water bottles altogether and just say, "Go use the drinking fountain!" Awesome! Blessed peace and deliverance! I love this little gadget!
The whale is designed with a "flap" for a belly so that when the flap is open, the water can run straight through the whale in in its normal flow, but when you want a drink, just pressing the belly shut directs the water up through the whale's "blow hole" into a drinking arch. However, little 3 & 4-year-old hands have a hard time with this requirement, often pulling the whale off the faucet altogether. So, I superglued the flap shut. It is a permanent fountain. When you turn the water on, it is now automatically redirected through the whale's blow hole. Sometimes we just pop it off, but usually it stays on. Hands can be washed and teeth can be brushed perfectly well in a drinking-faucet arch.
Also, this nifty gadget is saving my sink from little boys who were jumping up and balancing on the edge of the pedestal sink in order to put their mouths over the faucet--pulling the sink away from the wall and making it wobbly on its pedestal. Also, saving the boys from nasty germs. As the drinking flow spouts forward towards the front edge of the sink, even my little guy (3) can get a drink on his step stool without putting any of his weight on the sink! The faucet, however, can be rotated so that the stream goes any direction desired.
This was only $5 on Amazon. I'm thrilled beyond all imagination. My kitchen table is permanently free of cups. Joy! Rapture! Heaven! Bliss! Here is a link to the product for you:
Jokari Whale Faucet Fountain
Another problem I solved recently, was BUGS. I hate bugs in the house. Thankfully, for an old farmhouse, we are mostly bug, ant, and mouse-free. I've been grateful. But I hate spiders, flies, bees, wasps, moths, and especially, ESPECIALLY ants.
So I turned my kids into bounty hunters. Ten cents for every dead bug or spider.
Thankfully, we don't have an ant problem, or I'd be broke. I generally pay out about 30 to 50 cents per week. And things are much better.
Flies don't have much of a chance in this house. The second one gets in, 3-4 kids are on it until it is whacked, vying for the 10-cent bounty.
Here's a picture of my three boy bounty hunters... the 3-year-old likes to be Ninja bounty hunter, wearing his red Ninja suit that he purchased with his own money for 50 cents at a garage sale!
And they have learned to be ever-ready. Note my 7-year-old, Aram, diligently doing his school work with his fly swatter through his belt loop like a sword in a sheath!
If you've solved any annoying problems lately, please share! I'd love your ideas! Anything to improve your sanity, and/or make the home cleaner, neater, more organized, and more peaceful!