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4 Moms Answer Questions From Readers

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 It's once again that time in the show when The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids answer reader questions.

See what questions the rest of The 4 Moms team is answering:

This week, each of the 4 Moms has chosen questions from the 4 Moms, 35+ Kids Facebook page. Be sure to head on over there if you have a question you would like us to address in our next Q&A post. Simply "like" the page, then leave your question, and we'll see if we can work it in next month.

Here are a few of the questions we've had this week:

  • How do you regulate snacks? My kids are constantly begging.

We almost always have apples, bananas, oranges, and/or carrots available for snacks. Those are available for any and all kids who want an "after nap-time snack" or if I feel that a child is genuinely hungry at another time.

The standard rule is that snacks are only to be eaten after nap-time, which is usually around 3:00 in the afternoon. I do not hesitate to say "no" to a child who is whining that they are hungry between meals at other times, especially if I have noticed that they have eaten poorly at mealtimes. Occasionally I notice that a child seems to be going through a growth spurt and, even after eating heartily at meals, will still be hungry. In those cases, I allow him or her to get some fruit, carrots, or a spoonful of peanut butter.

As a generality, we do not allow children to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. Our children know that if they are picky or skimpy about their eating at mealtime, they will be hungry until the next meal rolls around.

Our system seems to work well for us, since we have healthy children and not a fat one in the bunch.

  • How big is your pantry? What items do you stock up on?

We have a closet-type pantry in our kitchen where we keep the items we use every day, and we use the room attached to our garage, that houses our well pump, as a food storage area. We have an extra refrigerator and a chest freezer in there, plus the shelves my husband built. See this post on food storage for large families for ideas from other moms on how they manage food storage.

  • Do you have baby books for all your kids?

What a rude question! I don't believe I have ever been as insulted as I am now to receive such a nosy and intrusive interrogation! (Smockity looks around nervously to see if her diversionary tactics worked...)

  • How do you handle kids' shoes? We have shoes everywhere!

I wish I had a good answer to this one! I have to admit that I am a touch envious that the children in books like the one we just finished, Little Britches, go around barefoot. (By the way, I'm still upset that the book ends the same way every time we read it! ~wipes tear)

Even though we try to limit shoes to "church shoes" and "play shoes", that is still 32 shoes for just the children in our house! Add in mud boots, soccer cleats, and flip flops, and it can get nuts!

Ideally, we try to keep mud boots on the side porch, church shoes in closets, and play shoes in cubbies designated for each child located just outside our laundry room.

That is the ideal. Realistically, we find shoes under the trampoline, under beds, in the bathroom, on the kitchen floor, and other places they aren't supposed to be.

So, now I'd like to know from you...

How do you handle kids' shoes?

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  1. Little Britches always makes me cry too. :(

    Shoes! I’d say they are the bane of my existence, but that’s also my definition for socks, so…. My wonderful hubby just finished building a big wonderful mudroom/pantry/laundry room addition on the back of our house, so for the first time since we had our big crew I feel we actually have room for all the shoes! We too try to limit to just a couple pairs per child, but you know that with 8 kids that still equals A LOT of shoes. I regularly weed through them and donate what isn’t needed. Plus it’s good for kids to learn it’s better to let someone else have what we don’t truly need.

    If I find a pair of shoes lying around the owner is given extra jobs (often folding/putting away laundry – a least favorite job) or is told they won’t get a snack that day. Missing out on a cookie always is a good motivational tool. :)

    I’m so glad, Connie, that I’m not the only one who isn’t keeping up with baby books….
    Thanks for all your great tips!!

  2. http://www.target.com/p/Circo-Fabric-Drawer-Red-Pop/-/A-13217531

    I have 2 of these. One labeled Play and one labeled Work.

    If she leaves her shoes out, I take them and put them up…when she hits the point where she has no shoes (hasn’t happened in a while) she has to come to me to get them. After a few times of asking, she learned to put them up.

    FYI…she’s 3.5 now and we started this around 3.

  3. Ohhh the shoes! They’re everywhere. We have an ideal too. We have a laundry basket right at our frot door. As soon as kids enter the house, shoes go in the basket. Until that is….they need them again. Over goes the basket…and they’re all over the floor. Of course, one rarely pus them all BACK (until we yell “chore time” and they get picked up)! So from there, they get scattered about in strange places. With nine kids, I don’t think we’ll ever truly get a handle on shoes. : /

    Now, about those baby books. I have one for every child. And pretty much keep up with them, even down to teeth. Hate me if you must, love me if you can! lol Seriously, it’s kind of like how the Duggars began with J names. They didn’t think they’d end up with this many kids….and didn’t want to leave anyone out. Well…..

  4. …that would be *front* door! Perhaps I should have proofread…*puts* not pus! Grr…

  5. Dadgumit Connie!!! We have 3 more chapters of Little Britches. You mean it’s SAD at the end????????

    Grrr. SO glad I read this post. Humph.

  6. Pretty much the same here. Church/special shoes in closets. Play, work, sport shoes in a wooden bench in the entry way (it’s a fancy toy box type of thing so it holds a lot of shoes and is a place to sit when pulling them on). We quit on rain boots years ago (and NEVER need snow boots down here!) and use flip-flops instead. We find that socks and pants still get wet and muddy in boots so when it’s rainy we roll up pant legs and slip into flip-flops.
    I felt so guilty that only our first had a baby book that I finally threw his away (*gasp*). No pressure now 😀
    Thanks for writing more about your daily life again. You encourage me a lot (and you’re stinkin’ hilarious!).

  7. We have 5 daughters – 18, 15, 12, 6, and 4. We have shoes everywhere! Officially, each person is allowed to keep 1 pair by the front door. Unofficially, they are everywhere.

    We are a family of big feet. I wear a 12 and hubs wears a 16 or 17. Older kids all wear a 9-11. This alone limits us, big sizes are expensive. I own exactly 2 pairs of shoes.


  1. […] Smockity Frocks on snacks, pantry and shoes […]