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Tiny House, Sick Kids

I feel like we've been pretty lucky so far when it comes to kids' illnesses. We've definitely dealt with our fair share of colds, especially since Sweetheart was born. (There's something about having multiple kids that exponentially multiplies the germs entering the home!) But we've more or less escaped the icky stomach viruses that I've heard described in gory detail by other parents.

Until now, that is.

It all started about a week ago. An hour after I put Sweetheart to bed, I heard her crying over the monitor. I waited a couple of minutes to see if she'd put herself back to sleep, and when she didn't, I went in to check on her. She had vomited all over herself and her bed, and the relaxing evening I had been anticipating evaporated before my eyes.

I brought Sweetheart out to the living room and we dozed out there together as she vomited off and on all night long. She could keep nothing down, and my primary task for the next few days was simply to keep …
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Traditions That Mean Something

The Christmas season starts early at our house. We've been listening to Christmas songs and watching Christmas movies for a month now. It's one of our most special holiday traditions of the year, and it all started six years ago during a very dark time in our lives.

2011 was a bittersweet year for us. After years of infertility, we were finally expecting twins due in November. It all ended suddenly in May. We miscarried a second time in mid-October.

As October drew to a close, we were freshly grieving our losses, and we needed something to get us past Halloween, a night that is so fun and yet so excruciating when you want children but don't have them.

That year, we decided that we really needed Christmas to come early. So on October 31st, we chose to stay home and kick off the Christmas season by watching one of our favorite renditions of Charles Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol. It seemed like a perfect ghostly tale for such a night.

We had no idea at the time that …

Pre-Holiday Purge

Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning in toys. I'm sure many moms can relate. Just as I've finally sorted, downsized, and reorganized my girls' array of playthings, another birthday comes along (or worse: Christmas), and we have to start the process all over again. Living in a small or tiny home means that it's impossible to keep every toy my girls are given forever, and I don't think that's a bad thing.
I try to encourage gifts that are easily stored, ones that foster the imagination, and gifts of experiences as much as possible, but in the end, I care more about the heart of the giver than the gift itself, and I want to foster an attitude of gratefulness in my children regardless of what presents they get throughout the year. We do keep a lot of their bigger play things at their grandparents' houses to play with when we go visit, but toys still manage to accumulate throughout the year. 
Recently, a friend of mine suggested implementing a pre-holiday pu…

Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at Small Home Family want to wish all of our American readers a very happy Thanksgiving!

May you enjoy a warm home (no matter the size), good food, and blessed times spent with family and friends.

Back in the Cloth Habit

It's been two weeks since we pulled out the cloth diapers again, and it's going remarkably well. I have had no trouble keeping up with the laundry, and Sweetheart seems to have adjusted to the change just fine. It feels kind of like I've said hello to an old friend again, which is a strange way to talk about diapers, I will admit.

One thing that has really surprised me is how the need to wash diapers has helped me stay on top of regular laundry as well. Since I'm running next door to check the diaper laundry already, it's really not a big deal to throw in a load of regular clothes once I'm done washing diapers. Smaller, more frequent loads are easier to fold and put away, too. I am finding that we don't need as many clothes when I wash them sooner. My drawers are getting kind of full since there aren't a bunch of clothes in various laundry piles all the time. I really never thought that adding additional laundry to my routine would make my home run more…