Tonight is Rosh Chodesh that begins the nine days. This means that we must stop eating meat as of 7:30 p.m. The other customs of mourning also begins tonight. In essence, the period of the three weeks is a period where we increase mourning. The peak is the first half of Tisha B'Av where we take on the behavior of one who is sitting Shiva. When mourning for a loved one, it is the most intense during the first three days and then the Shiva and Shloshim and the twelve months. During the Nine Days the custom of mourning for the Temple also includes bathing and doing laundry. There are leniencies regarding both nowadays. Regarding laundry, there isn't the same implication of freshly laundered clothes as people have washing machines and dryers. Certainly someone with small children can do laundry as they will run out of clothes. Regarding bathing, Israel's climate demands that we be able to remove perspiration and consider our hygiene and our surroundings. If one needs to rinse himself off in lukewarm water and it's not for pleasure, there are those that would allow such showers.