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  • Adapting to life with my two boys

    Alex is four, so you’d think I’d be used to living with my kids by now. But I find that life with my boys changes so frequently that I’m constantly having to adapt.

    To wit: They have become true consumers.

    I don’t mean they buy lots of stuff when we go shopping. I mean they use up a lot of stuff around the house!

    They eat a lot more now, so a meal cooked for four really does serve only four. Six months ago, I could cook a half pound of pasta, feed the four of us for dinner, and still have leftovers for lunch for Marc and me. No longer. I discovered last week that I need to cook the whole one-pound package if I want leftovers for lunch.

    The boys also use up a lot of handsoap in the bathroom. (I’ll share my trick for cutting down on that later this week.) We go through toilet paper and tissue more quickly than before, too. (Not that I’m complaining about them being potty trained in the least. We can’t be done with diapers soon enough!)

    The thing is, I’m sure that as they get older, these types of changes will become more and more frequent. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for the day when I have two ravenous adolescents threatening to devour everything in the kitchen.

    In the meantime, I realize that I simply need to learn to accept these types of changes as a given, and not be surprised when I notice them. (Any tips on specific things to be prepared for?) I want to stay on top of these shifts in behavior and consumption so that I can keep us well stocked. I wouldn’t want to run out of toilet paper or soap and have to pay full price on them!

    Comments

    1. frugaljd@blogspot.com says:

      Take note of when they really start eating a lot. Boys have a lot of little growth spurts. They will suddenly eat everything in sight (including things they would not touch before). They will also want more sleep (thankfully, mine doesn't mind going to sleep earlier when he hits a spurt). When they start eating more, you will also need new clothes. You are lucky that it has taken this long. My son started eating more than me when he was about 4. Always cook a bit extra. I try to make sure to have extra protein and fiber for each meal (to satiate the hunger and make him feel full longer).

      They may also have leg pain from growing so fast. Stretching helps a lot with that.

      Good luck.

    2. FunkyFrum says:

      You are going to love your Costco membership when they become teenage eaters. Oh! The complaints my mother had about my brothers (and their friends) and the sheer ridiculous amount of food they ate (When my mom redid the kitchen when we were in highschool, she had two fridges. One with a lock on it and one without so my brothers could not eat her out of house and home on a regular basis)

    3. The one thing that threw me between ages 4-5 was that instead of buying toddler clothing (for cheap at Children's Place, Old Navy, and Target), you now have to buy "Boy's" sizes–at double the price or more! It's frustrating that plain tees can cost up to $10 when I was getting them for $1-2 on clearance in the toddler section.

    4. Chief Family Officer says:

      @frugaljd – Ah, thanks for that reminder about the eating new things during a growth spurt. I am going to remember that one so I can take advantage of it! Thanks for all the tips!

      @FunkyFrum – LOL! I dread going to Costco but yes, I can see it becoming a weekly trip for me at some point. OMG, I've heard about locks on fridges, I hope I don't have to resort to that!

      @Gina – Yikes! I've managed to stick with the 5Ts this year but next summer we will need to move into boy's sizes. I will start keeping my eyes peeled for clearance sales now. Thanks for the heads up!

    5. I have been the mom of boys for 15 years now and I am not sure the need to adapt to the new and incredible ever ends! My oldest can eat amounts of food that might feed the whole rest of the family at times and I am always in awe!

      There is not much advice I can offer that has not already been shared but I wanted to mention that as the boys get older paying attention to the calendar and making sure your stockpile is set for longer periods of time off (3 day weekends, holidays and vacation time home). Toilet paper and snacks are where I am affected most when these occur. :-)

    6. Chief Family Officer says:

      @Tia – That's terrifying! But thank you for the warning :)

    7. Mama Bird says:

      Oh my word. I have two boys as well (in a month they will be 4 and 1) and I'm always amazed at how much they will both eat…now. I have always said my grocery bill will be sky high by they time they are in high school. Thinking it and seeing it in writing from other Moms is different though! Good grief.

      Interesting comment from Gina about clothes though. I had no idea they went up so much in price. Maybe that is why some of the size 5 pants were a bit pricier to me at the consignment sale I just went too. Since maybe they were more to begin with. I will have to pay more attention to that this year.

      As for tips. Unfortunately I have none. Except that my kids eat tons of fruit. It has lots of fiber, which is filling. And whole wheat. And oatmeal. I have a good recipe on my blog for sweet potato oatmeal squares that my kids love. And my nephew asks for them every time he comes over.

    8. Mama Bird says:

      Oh my word. I have two boys as well (in a month they will be 4 and 1) and I'm always amazed at how much they will both eat…now. I have always said my grocery bill will be sky high by they time they are in high school. Thinking it and seeing it in writing from other Moms is different though! Good grief.

      Interesting comment from Gina about clothes though. I had no idea they went up so much in price. Maybe that is why some of the size 5 pants were a bit pricier to me at the consignment sale I just went too. Since maybe they were more to begin with. I will have to pay more attention to that this year.

      As for tips. Unfortunately I have none. Except that my kids eat tons of fruit. It has lots of fiber, which is filling. And whole wheat. And oatmeal. I have a good recipe on my blog for sweet potato oatmeal squares that my kids love. And my nephew asks for them every time he comes over.

    9. For me, it was the milk and bread! Once they are in the 4-6 range, forget it – the milk and bread disappears super fast. (Just wait until they can help themselves).

      This cost is slightly offset by the fact that their feet grow more slowly, so I am not buying new shoes every month :)

    10. I have 3 boys (and one lone daughter, lol) ages 10, 7, and 4. They're still young, but I so agree with the others about eating! My 10 yr old has started eating more than I do (and he does not have weight issues – just growing!). And he went through a phase where he went through 2 shoe sizes in about 4 months! His feet grew so fast! (We went through this with our daughter also – in January she was a girls size 2, in the fall she was a womens 7!). One thing I have noticed and know will get worse is laundry – as they get bigger – their clothes get bigger!!! I used to be able to wash a weeks worth of toddler clothes in one load – my 10 yr olds
      jeans take up so much more room in the wash! I can't imagine what I'll do when all 3 boys are teens and wearing baggy jeans! And there are the little things you don't think about until they happen, like needing bigger cups for them to drink out of, bigger towels for their shower, jackets get more expensive, shoes are outrageous! etc, etc, etc

      But, I wouldn't change it for the world! I love my boys! (and my girl too of course!)

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