Tag Archives: Laundry

Is It Wrong To Be In Love With Your Whirlpool Duet Wash Machine?

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..falling more in love with my Whirlpool Duet wash machine! I am a mother; laundry is my life. If I’m not picking it up off the floor, flung in corners near and far, I’m sorting it, washing it, folding it, ironing it, hanging it up or putting it away.


It’s amazing. Where does it all come from? My people try something on, change their minds and discard the offending item, in a wadded up ball, on the bed, behind the bed, next to the bed, under the bed; anywhere but in a drawer or in the closet. Everyday when Nick gets home from school he walks in the door in his undershirt (which is called an undershirt because it is meant to be worn under your other shirt), either discarding his school uniform shirt in a pile on the kitchen table, or the shirt is no where in sight because he has left it in the back seat of his car. Stripping away the chains of inhumanity by removing your tie is one thing, but what is up with taking off your shirt? Nick must think he’s got himself a….”situation.” Of course Nick’s life’s work does not revolve around GTL (gym-tan-laundry). His teenage life revolves around S-H-P90X (school-hockey-infomercial workout system…..P90X, developed by fitness guru Tony Horton, who I swear is the inspiration for Ben Stiller’s character in Dodge Ball, as the owner of World Class Gym).   

My laundry hamper is like a black hole of textiles; pajamas, school uniforms, jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, slouch pants, socks that multiply like bunnies, towels, bed linens…..and athletic uniforms and work out clothes. Amanda’s contribution to this mound is rather small. Leotards aren’t exactly a large clothing item. They can be slipped in with the regular wash, particularly as girls don’t typically smell too bad. Teenage boys however? Man smell!

When Nick first started playing hockey, he was just a baby. He got sweaty, but never really stinky. There was so little smell that he could actually air out his hockey equipment in his bedroom, without any tell tale signs (or stink). Now that he is a full grown man, however, that equipment doesn’t even make it passed the garage! We have two bins that he empties his equipment into in order to allow for a little air circulation. Poor thing, in the winter that equipment is pretty darn cold as he packs it back in his bag for a game or practice.

While we’ve solved the problem of the stinky equipment, I am still faced with the challenge of the permanently embedded stank on the sweat-wicking shirts, socks, jerseys and hockey socks….until now. Last week I made an amazing discovery; my Whirlpool Duet wash machine, which I’ve had for 3 ½ years and I have never once bothered to read the instructions, has a “sanitizing wash setting”. The cycle may have run for well over an hour, but when I pulled out the normally smelly hockey apparel, I discovered no lingering unpleasant odor at all. In fact, it actually smelled, dare I say…clean!

More stinky laundry, more smart wash machine settings, more pleasant smells…..

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Keeping It Clean…..

As the More is More Mom®, I wonder why I am always cleaning up…..more messes? It seems unlikely to me that I could be the only person that notices that things are out of order. In what universe does “mother” mean “maid”? Oh, apparently in mine….. I can see now that while I was busy patting myself on the back for being so darn efficient, I was really shooting myself in the foot.

Speaking of feet….I love shoes! After all, Imelda Marcos is my idol. But last time I checked, my people had only one pair of feet, each. So, why is it that there are never a shortage of shoes kicked off, piled up, topsy turvy in the mud room? Certainly, it would seem entirely possible, to open up the closet door and drop the shoes into their own personal basket provided for them. Apparently, not so much.


I consider myself to be somewhat of a problem solver, but on occasion it appears that I am a problem encourager. My Nick is a creature of habit (especially the habits that are sloppy). Ever since he started driving, he’ll come in through the mudroom and empty his pockets (save for the occasional pen that goes through the laundry and explodes mid cycle, resulting in ink all over the wash machine and afore mentioned laundry) dumping the contents, in a big, fat pile,  on the chest of drawers; keys, wallet, pens, pencils, gum. It’s an unsightly mess. My genius solution was to provide him with a receptacle to house his belongings. I gave him a small planter adorned with butterflies to compliment the décor in our mudroom (who knew that mudroom’s could have décor?). Now it is an even bigger mess because it is a magnet for anything that Nick has had in his pockets, or even hands, that he doesn’t want to deal with; pens, pencils, golf tees, golf balls, ball markers, those little pencils you get from golf courses, scorecards, Mc Donald’s gift cards, even the picture order form and check from his sophomore year when he was suppose to have his ID picture taken). I need a better solution, short of expecting that he might actually put everything away.

What is up with the wet towels? Why are they always on the floor, behind the door or in the closet? What is so heinous and offensive about using one of the four hooks that Chuck installed in their bathroom? Do they have cooties? Why is there always toothpaste in the sink? That leads me to believe that there isn’t enough toothpaste on the tooth brush, and quite frankly I’m not up to thinking about that.

Glassware, discarded clothing, food wrappers, magazines, text books, notebooks, sofa pillows out of order, never to be returned to their rightful place in the world, both of my pals are perpetrators, but the car? That’s all Nick (only because Amanda doesn’t even have her permit yet).


Because I try to be a good mom, when Nick has a long day on the links, I pack him a PB & J so he doesn’t get too hungry. The other day, I was looking for the sandwich box (it’s not that I don’t have more, it’s just that I like to keep my inventory intact. Again, I know I wasn’t Cleopatra or Marie Antoinette in a former life, but I do believe that I may have been a shop keeper.). Heaven forbid Nick return something to its rightful place, so I decided to hunt it down in the trunk of his car instead. OMG! Not since the promo for Hoarders; Buried Alive have I seen such a fright! There must have been at least 18 empty water bottles, countless flattened sleeves of golf balls, an extra golf bag, golf shoes, head covers, food wrappers, but the worst? The worst was the rotting banana peel. I suppose I could have been thrilled he’d been eating fruit rather than chocolate (like mother, like son), but it was hard to get past the disgusting factor.

I suppose, looking on the bright side, more messes means more getting to know your kids better!

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Butterflies are free to fly, but to purchase them costs American dollars

Boy, oh boy, I’m telling you the kids these days sure do live large. It is Saturday afternoon and once again I’ve set up shop at a local Starbucks, all the while my mountain of ironing and a monstrous mound of laundry is bursting through the doors of my laundry shoot, beckoning me to come home (stacked so high that when the kids slide the next pile through the hole upstairs they are greeted with the top of the pile; of course, if they ever wore anything for more than five seconds and realized that a towel can be used more than once, if hung up to dry, rather than discarded on the floor to grow mold and mildew, there might not be quite so much laundry. Also, you may be wondering what’s up with me and the ironing?  I love the peaceful process of ironing and the sense of accomplishment. And I like all things to be neat and orderly. You know me, more of everything, including issues with OCD.).

So, for today’s quota of pleasure and entertainment, Amanda and her gal pals are celebrating a friend’s birthday by enjoying spa services and lunch; very lovely and generous of the birthday girls family, and quite civilized. When I was a girl, on the birthday party circuit, things were much different. I’m racking my brain trying to remember if I ever attended a party that wasn’t in someone’s home where we didn’t eat boiled hot dogs or sandwiches, play pin the tail on the donkey and eat home made cake? Nothing comes to mind, so my version of the story is going to be: no, I did not. I also walked to school up hill, both ways, in the snow without boots. Waa, waa, waa.

While I sit and wait, rather than troll the mall, I can’t wait to tell you all about my special find. I have an affinity for just about everything, but I am particularly drawn to insects (the decorative kind, not the creepy crawlers), and especially butterflies. I have loved them ever since I was in grammar school when Sister Jo Anne, a very hip and groovy nun that did not where a habit, but funk-adelic polyester as it was the 70’s, read to my class, “If you know a Vanessa….(everyone turned to stare at me, and I was terribly and painfully shy, so by then I was sliding under my desk to hide. I always hated my name and desperately wanted to be named something normal like Mary or Kathy), her name means butterfly.” Butterflies are beautiful, and colorful, and graceful and lovely. Yay me. I have been collecting butterfly themed items for years. I have a lovely collection of framed antique butterfly, dragonfly and insect prints that float up the wall of the stairs going to our second floor. There are about 47 of them so far, and it’s a nightmare to dust them and keep the frames all straight, rather than slightly askew (Wrigley and the children are forever running in to them as they fly down the stairs), but I just don’t care. They make me happy.

Well, this Christmas my friend and neighbor Missy was with her family doing a little shopping downtown Chicago, and stumbled across a special treasure; butterfly ornaments! Not just a butterfly, but a butterfly that is an enormous 10” square with a textured tiger print pattern on its wing span. How awesome! When she saw it, she said she knew she had to get it for me just for fun. If there’s something I love almost as much as butterflies it’s a saucy animal print, and it was perfect because I have a tiger print runner going up our staircase along side my floating butterfly collection! Needless to say I loved it! Thanks Miss!

Also needless to say is that after Christmas I high tailed it over to Marshall Field’s (though I guess they still insist on calling it Macy’s) to track down more butterflies. It only took stalking the Oak Brook store and the flag ship State Street store to amass a collection of 16 of these beauties. Now I have a flock (or is that just for sheep?).

The question then becomes: What exactly does one do with 16, 10”, tiger print butterflies? I don’t know yet. For now they are carefully and safely tucked away in their very own Rubbermaid box in the attic while I thoughtfully consider that dilemma. Maybe on a tree, maybe intertwined in garland draped along the banister. So many butterflies, so many possibilities……..

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Dirty laundry is like bunny rabbits….it keeps multiplying

As you know, I am the More is More Mom™, and I am a professional mother.

One of my many exciting and glamorous duties as a homemaker is of course maintaining the individual inventory of items of clothing for each member of my family. Everybody has laundry….but not like we have laundry. Much of it is my own doing.

First of all, I purchase each and every article of clothing that crosses the threshold in to our home.

Second, I am a ridiculous hoarder of all things so everyone has an insane amount of everything….underwear and socks (socks for every occasion; short sports socks, white knee socks for Amanda’s school uniform, tall tube socks for Nick for hockey, dress socks for all, and fun whimsical socks in a rainbow of colors, some with stripes, argyles, holiday themes and other fun patterns); undershirts for the boys and tanks tops for the girls; workout shirts, sweatshirts, shorts and sweat pants, baseball hats for working out (mostly Cub’s) and baseball hats to wear when you’re not all sweaty and gross (mostly Cub’s, I do like for us to show our team spirit); leotards for Amanda; a dozen Under Armor shirts for Nick for hockey; pajama’s….I love pajama’s (I mean who doesn’t like to snuggle in to a cozy pair, or fourteen pairs, of pj’s?); casual t-shirts with funny sayings……I love funny sayings such as “Your Mom Does My Homework”, “WWGD…..What Would Gretzky Do?”, my favorite “I can see your five hole” (a hockey term for between the goalies legs, but it sounds so naughty!) and “Chicago Cub’s, World Series Champion’s”, oh, wait a minute, we don’t have one that says that); numerous pairs of blue jeans, which get ironed, for each person (Chuck wears business attire by day, and my pals wear a school uniform, no real need for 4 pairs of jeans a piece); dress slacks and shorts; casual slacks and shorts; skirts and dresses for the girls, running the gambit of formality; polo shirts; dress shirts; sweaters, pullovers and cardigans; everything in every imaginable color. Don’t get me started on accessories, outerwear and footwear. Clearly with me, the lists just keep going, and going, and going, and going. I’m like the Energizer Bunny!

Third, I do all of the laundry in this house myself. I realize this is a huge mistake, but if I allowed for these people (meaning the children) to help I would wait for the rest of my life for it to get tackled and the mounds of dirty clothes would pile up to the ceiling, and then you’d have to call me out on Oprah for my hoarding issues. So you see, it really is just a matter of self preservation that I do all the laundry. It’s that, or it is just a vicious cycle of managing my over purchasing. Oh well. I suppose Freud will have to figure that out on another day.

The only thing that I ask of my people is that they bring their laundry baskets up to their bedrooms and put away their clothes. That does seem like a fairly modest request. Sometimes however even that is apparently too much to ask, so I schluck the basket, carefully balancing the neatly folded items that are piled two feet higher than the baskets rim, up the stairs, down the hall and in to their respective bedrooms. Once the baskets have been sitting on the floor for several days, rifled through because the children can’t be bothered with actually removing their clothing from the basket, opening the drawers and closet, and putting their belongings away, I go totally ape shit! On principle (ha, ha, ha…who is the one that is trained here? Much like dealing with the dog…it’s ME!), and because I need the basket back to start filling it up with the newly washed and neatly folded clothes, I empty the contents of the basket on to their beds. You see, I show them (by sorting through the basket and arranging the piles by category…not only am I a hoarder, but I am also completely OCD). Now they have to put away their clothes or they won’t be able to sleep in their beds! Or will they………

At six o’clock this morning I went to wake Sir Nichols up for school, as I do every morning (he is completely incapable of waking up to an alarm clock, so each morning starts out with yelling, swearing and near physical violence……Good Morning! Rise and Shine!). As I entered his room, I discovered that his laziness and complete disregard for any sort of neatness or order had reached a new low. It would appear that when he went to bed last night that this kid actually pulled back the covers and climbed in to bed amidst the piles of clean and neatly stacked clothing, and the empty hangers from his uniform that he had flung on to the bed as he was getting ready for school. Study guides, textbooks and spirals had fallen on to the floor. Well, at least he was studying, which is a good thing. Maybe some day he will be able to afford a live in maid…….unless he plans on keeping the one he already has by living here forever. Once again it sure looks like I taught these kids a valuable lesson….leave it for Mom.

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