Friday, February 24, 2012

29 days, week 3(ish)

Okay. So I could've posted on Monday night and let that be the post for the week. Because once again, that's all I got done. What IS this?!?

I'm getting discouraged.

Last weekend, my 5yo got the stomach bug. We stayed home from church, and he was better Monday, and acting almost-fine since then, but only as of maybe yesterday he's gotten the color back in his face. Tuesday night, both girls (14 and 8) threw up a good portion of the night. They were both down all of Wednesday while I kept them from trying to do too much, too soon, and occupying the boys. Thursday morning, I woke up nauseous...and not in a morning-sickness kind of way. Hubby Of The Year called into work (and worked from home) so he could run herd on the kids and let me sleep just about all day in bed.

What a gift. I almost cried when he told me he was staying home.

So yep. ONE day done on the room. It's a nice improvement...but not nearly what I'd hoped to get done.

Suicide watch one week, stomach flu the next. I'm not asking what will happen next week. But I'm trying not to lose heart!!! If the weekend goes CALMLY as planned, I will have three (count 'em, three) days to clean an entire bookshelf and the abyss in front of the closet. And inside the closet. And tidy up from the remnants that have crept back in around the room during the last two weeks of BLAHHH.

So here's what I DID get done. Enjoy.

Monday's project was the top of the dresser and the white chair to the right. Random things like pencils, a computer with no cover, dvd's, hubby's bucket o' Star Wars figures, VHS tapes, spindles of cd's, scrapbooking stuff, a bin of papers (of course), pictures for the wall, ironing board, Hubby's hiking boots, several small cans of paint (hiding behind the ironing board), and a frog.

The frog stayed. :)

Next week is another week, right? And if nothing else, it's a huge improvement over what it was before! And that's the whole point, right?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

scavenger hunt tues(sun)day

I'm forming a trend of getting to the Scavenger Hunt Sundays on Monday. Still fun. I played with effects this week (and I'm mourning the loss of Picnik soon).

1. Love

This picture is hubby's and my sorta-official wedding photo.
But I focused on him in the photo because
what I love about the picture is his face. <3

2. Duplicated

This is duplicated
because it's one of my 2yo's favorite videos on youtube.
Therefore, anytime we watch "choo choo train videos" on the computer,
we see this one.

3. Trending

This is what's trending in my neck of the woods.
Can't read it? It says #ThrowBackSongs.

This tape is in hubby's box of tapes/cd's that I collected and stashed
during my 29 day challenge.
"All For Love" is one of my bff's and my songs.
Don't judge. The 90's were cool.

4. Paper
My 8yo made this in Sunday school once, several years ago, and gave it to me.
It hangs from a lamp in our bedroom.
It doesn't match any color scheme ever.
Not the point.

5. Plastic
I had trouble thinking of a plastic item,
until I was sitting at the computer table
with my lovely blue cup next to me.
Inside this cup is a coffee ice cream/chocolate syrup milkshake.

Monday, February 20, 2012

29 days, week 2(ish)

I'm still here, I'm still here!! I missed the Friday link-up, but I am definitely still here. Last week was...well, let's call it hellacious. And I'm not using that lightly. I will not go into it all, but I will say:

When someone uses the word suicide in regard to themselves, do not ignore them. They might be serious, they might be joking, but either way - THEY NEED HELP.

Last week, I became one of those moms. (Stepmoms, really...but it's all the same in the end.) And I had that moment when I said in my head, "How did I get here?? How did I become the mom that got that phone call, that had to go pick up her kid at school, that had to take her to the ER for a psych exam per school policy, where they locked all the cabinets in the room, wouldn't let her wear her shoes because they had shoelaces, and made me take my purse with me when I had to go to the bathroom [that's happening more and more often as I become more and more pregnant] and get someone to sit with her when I go??"

There are two different categories you can fall into when you ask yourself this question. One, you say "I have absolutely no idea how this sweet little baby, I had no idea...." Or you can fall into the camp I'm in, where I said, "I know EXACTLY how this happened. Dear Lord, PLEASE let this be the real, true turning of the tide. This has GOT to work."

So that was my week. It was hard. And long. And nerve-wracking. I said "hard" already, right? It will take a while. But things will get better.

Now. On to the room transformation!

Well...okay, so I only got one day's work done, because That Call came on Tuesday afternoon, just before I was about to head upstairs to clean. THANK GOD I had been able to work ahead those couple days!! But here's what I managed to accomplish last week.

Monday was the day that I combined those three little sections, remember that? It was under the bed, the bookshelf/headboard, and my side of the bed. My side of the bed was pretty much already empty, and the bookshelf/headboard (it's literally a bookshelf that we have AS a headboard, because our bed it kitty-corner in room) was relatively organized already.

So although I couldn't take a picture UNDER the bed, I did take a picture of the "purge pile" (I know how you love those, Laura!)
A bunch of ping pong balls (from Hubby's fencing practices), an empty soda bottle, an empty chip bag, a sippy cup, a (very dusty) baseball glove, a container of tylenol (whaaat?), and LOTS of socks. I literally took a breath and held it every time I needed to bend over and pick something not-throw-away-able out of the pile. Achoo!!!!!
This smaller pile here is just for posterity's's just the feathers that have come from Hubby's pillow. 
And once again - again, THANK GOD - I was able to work a little ahead, so I also accomplished Tuesday's project of the bookshelf next to the window.

 On this wall, it goes trash can, bookshelf, bunch-of-stuff on top of...something, and then we get closer to the closet. If you go back to my post with the calendar, you'll see I skip the closet and go back around to the dresser on the other side of the room. With good reason. I will need lots more motivation, to the tune of seeing how much I've accomplished, before attacking that monstrosity, that beast that keeps my dear Hubby from approaching his clothing easily.

This is the slightly-more-close-up. On top is a bottle of cough medicine, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, a bag of plastic cups, and a basket of Shtuff (shtuff like random jewelry, deodorant, tweezers, etc). That thing barely visible in the glare of the window is a large thing of hand lotion. First shelf has two plastic bins of all the stuff that came from our bathroom drawers when they were emptied. (Our bathroom is a whole 'nother story. Just no real storage there.) Second shelf is two pairs of shoes, several Ace bandages, and a laptop that is dead and waiting for a new power cord. Third shelf is another pair of shoes and Hubby's slippers. (Sorry the picture is so dark. I tried lightening it on my computer and it didn't help.) My goal - I think - is to eventually move this next to Hubby's closet so he can use it for HIS shoes.

Behold the AFTER! A completely empty bookshelf, and - NOTE! - the bunch-of-stuff is gone from on top of the whatever-it-was, which, it turns out, is a box of HUBBY'S hobby stuff. (On Wednesday of last week, it's labeled as "table next to shoe shelves." I honestly didn't know what was under there.) Hmmm.... It is going to take some figuring to figure just where that will go during this purging. I really am actually stumped about this. I may have to - gasp! - skip over it, leave it there, and come back to it when I have actually cleaned out the inside of the closet (scheduled for this Thursday the 23rd...but things this week may get rearranged).

And here, just so I can prove that it IS indeed organized, the bookshelf/headboard:

So, now we move on. It's a new week! ...It's also school vacation week. I'm hoping this means that the children will have each other to occupy themselves while I clean in the afternoons, and that they won't kill each other.

Today, I'm hoping to at least accomplish last week's Thursday and Friday, which are "top of dresser" and "white chair". These together will be quite a feat, so I'm not looking too far beyond them. If I do manage to have the time to move on (haha), it will be to the "top three bookshelves"...but there is a very good reason I broke the bookshelf into pieces (not literally), and I'm actually kinda scared of them, so I'm not stressing myself about it. You'll see what I mean...

See you Friday!

Monday, February 13, 2012

scavenger hunt sunday! (err...monday)

A mom's life waits for no pictures.

This woman visited my blog, so I went to visit her blog. She follows this woman, so I went to visit her, too. She had lovely pictures on her blog, that were connected to this woman who heads up a Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

A scavenger hunt in pictures?? Oooh. Just the right thing to continue distracting me from what I should be doing (things like wrapping and mailing books that I sold on Amazon, and should've been mailed long, long ago. Oops.)

I couldn't find my camera, though. So I borrowed. I tried to take a picture...and then my 2yo peed in the hallway.

He is no longer the subject of the first scavenger hunt item. (He wouldn't hold still anyway.)

Take two.

1. Facial Feature

Beautiful boy. When he's asleep, he holds still perfectly. And I love that you can see the sheen of his fur by his ear.

2. Shadow

I love the shadows that the sun makes on curtains. I had to wait a while for the sun to come back out, and I'm still not sure it captured it the way I wanted it to, but you get the idea.

3. Spicy

A-1 Sauce. Conveniently located next to the Hot Sauce. Spicy, indeed.

4. Gold

Apparently it's hard to capture a flash in a sequin (hence the fuzziness of the rest of the picture).

5. Fabric

Denim fabric is just so cool. This one is in the process of being packed up, due to children getting older and growing bigger and all those things they do without permission.

Fun! I linked up with Ashley!

Friday, February 10, 2012

29 days, week 1(ish)

Tada!!! I have completed three days of the 29 Day Organizational Challenge! I have arrived at the first link-up day, February 10. It officially started on February 1st, of course, but I started late when I discovered it on the 8th.

I made a list of all the areas in my bedroom that needed work. I broke them down into sections. I had 21 sections. I only had 19 days. So I lumped 3 easier sections together, and voila! 19 sections!

Now, at the end of 3 days, I have actually completed FOUR sections! Aren't I amazing?! I'm certainly shocking myself! And it's AWESOME. Not because my room is looking slightly more awesome (which it is), but because I'm sticking to it. I'm getting 'er done.

I don't know when I've been able to say that recently.

And, ahem,
all with some brand new preggy hormones
Yeeeah, boy!
That's right.
Sholes kiddo #5 is on the way!)

So, just by doing slightly more than I needed to each day, I was able to cut an entire day out of the schedule. This does not mean, however, that I will take a day off. Because I have a feeling that when I get around to the section that is in my original post's picture, I will need that extra day.

Now, for the last three days, I've been in the same area of the room, so each picture sorta leads into the next. Here goes. The very first before picture...

This is the spot right behind the door of the bedroom. Please ignore the paint job on the's had an identity crisis for quite some time (having gone through several different occupants). Hopefully when this project is done, we might be able to think of a color scheme. Y'know, because then we'll be able to get to the walls.
 And here is after! With my very willing helper ("toolbelt" included). I think his smile says it all.

Here was the before of day 2. The actual schedule section for this day was just that stack of stuff to the right of the baker's rack...

After! No more stack! Annnnd...I started on the baker's rack, too. That blue bin on the floor will eventually be gone, but as much of this stuff is hubby's, I simply made a neat bin of his paperwork for him to go through at another time. For now, I can get into my closet. Score!
That last after picture also served as the before picture to this one. I regret that I didn't realize I didn't take an actual picture of the mess to the left of the baker's rack, so that you can tell the difference now. But, rest assured, it was a tall pile of hubby's clothes, small exercise equipment, and cassette tapes. No more! (Yes, our air conditioner is still in the window. Yes, we still run it on fan every night. But my coffee isn't usually sitting on the baker's rack.)
Bonus: day 3 was simply to do the baker's rack; day 4 was to be the left of the baker's rack, which is where I have now gained my day-ahead-ness.

The thing I love most about this so far is that I have really, truly done this. In any time past, I simply would've said, "but what will I do with the 2 year old?" This time...I just brought him with me. He played in the room (there's no limit of stuff to get into there), he played in the hall, he went in and out of the playroom. And for three days in a row, he was willing to go with me. No complaints. And poor little sick 5 year old was able to have some chill time downstairs on the couch watching tv in silence. The first day he actually fell asleep. (That's rare.) So blessings all around.

And would you believe - for all of this - yesterday hubby had the nerve to chide me, about his dresser drawer becoming more full???? The top drawer of our dresser is where all his "stuff" goes. The little stuff - pictures of kids, pictures from kids, Star Wars figures, dice, yo-yos, playing cards, spare wallet, etc. And when I come across that kind of stuff, that's the only real place for it, for now. And he gave me grief about filling up his drawer! He hadn't even once mentioned the cleanliness that had shown up. Not that that's why I'm doing this, the praise, but gosh, it's so obvious!!!

He was kidding.

Good thing.

Next on the calendar are the three easy pieces put together: our bookshelf headboard (which pretty much has things that will stay but need to be organized), under the bed (which will require a broom), and my side of the bed (which I kinda picked up really quick the other day, as it involved all of emptying my trash can and bringing a glass downstairs).

Maybe I'll even move on a little further after that... Aren't I brazen.

PS, Laura, I have to let you know, that although I haven't taken any purge pictures (now I know you like them!), I almost took a picture of what I swept out from under my baker's rack - one dustpan full of nothing but FEATHERS. From hubby's pillow. :)

If you're interested in joining the challenge,
click HERE.
It's never too late to start!
Plus, she's got some sweeeeeet prizes;
go check 'em out!
Although, as hubby reminded me,
my prize will be a clean room.

He's right...and it's for him I'm doing this anyway.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

it's a little late for "back to school"...

So my little girl goes back to school tomorrow. I swear, it's harder than her first first day.

Weird timing, you say? Yes. Yes, it is. I homeschooled her for the first half of the year. And I knew - KNEW - more than anything that it was the right thing to do. I didn't have anything against the school system or school itself. I just knew that she could do better at home - learn more, learn better, learn better things, etc. And the whole first half of the year, September till now, it's felt like the right thing to do.

But I haven't been able to concentrate on teaching. No one tells you that having two kids in school and the others at home will mess you up, homeschooling-wise. Our schedule is not ours. We can't do as we wish. We can't plan what we want. It all revolves around someone else's schedule.

And what if one of those schooling children maybe (maybe) really should be in school? What if that's what they need? Then you'll never have that "make our schedule what we want it" scenario.

Then you have home stuff. That is, Stuff. Stuff comes up. Children act out. Teenagers emerge. Teenagers with baggage. And you become so consumed with them and their issues and their next move that you border on depression (again) and can barely manage to run your own house, let alone someone else's entire education.

So back she goes. I will miss her. So much. (sniff) Having your kids around you so much for such a long while, it suddenly seems like 8 hours is FAR too long to be without them.

I love liking my kids. I just have to trust that this is the best move for all of us.

For now.

Monday, February 6, 2012

29 day organizational challenge

Hello, there! It's been a long time since I've blogged. I just haven't had the urge...and I feel like I haven't had the time. I once said I desperately wanted to write a busy-mom blog...but didn't have time because I'm a busy mom! - and a friend said that that was what qualified me to write one. Yay. I'm qualified!

However...I'm a busy mom. Life is full, and it's hard, and it can drag you down and suck you into itself and lie and say that all there is is busy-ness. But I've learned that when I feel dragged down and drowning in life, it pays to make that effort to h.a.u.l. yourself up and peek over the edge at all the rest of life that's still. going. on. I'm even typing this with a toddler on my lap. know...that's my life.

So here I go. Consider this my virtual pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps.

(In my case, they're very cool, very worn, very comfy cowgirl boots
that I will someday own,
and someday wear,
on my someday cowgirl legs.)

I stumbled across this page, Ready. Set. Simplify., through the Facebook page of a friend from college. Sounds right up my alley, right? I'm attracted to anything regarding organizing and simplifying. (Probably because I wish to be so, and get a thrill from attempting it, but feel too busy to get there.)

She, in turn, is linking up with Org Junkie's 29 Day Organizational Challenge. Clearly, it's February 6th; I'm starting late. And - truth - I'm fighting about a million thoughts of "why will this work now? you've tried challenges before, and something always comes up to distract you and it doesn't get done. why keep trying something new? why not just try to keep up with the schedule you already have that you haven't perfected yet??"

Wow. I'm mean.

BUT. Elizabeth has a very specific reason for her 29 Day Challenge, and I admit, it intrigued me. And I'm stealing it. (I don't know her, but I don't think she'll mind.) It's her "Love by Decluttering" plan. Hubby and I don't have a great deal of extra funds at the moment (or ever), so Valentine's Day probably won't be a very big deal. (And it's on a Tuesday. Tricky.) But a great deal of stress for us is our bedroom. I think we both have this unspoken agreement that it doesn't need to be organized, because we're not in there except to sleep, and we know it'll get done...eventually. But it's cluttered. And not that big. And full of unnecessary furniture. And hard to walk around. And just not very restful. So when I read that Elizabeth was doing her bedroom as a gift to her hubby for February, I identified.

It's not entirely un-selfish. By the time I get to bed, it's imperative that I sleep immediately. There is no wind-down time, no relaxing, just sleep for functionality's sake. And I wake up in the morning and think, "ohmygosh, I have to do this all again." And I do. not. feel. rested. That's so wrong. And I think maybe if my surroundings weren't stressing me out, maybe I wouldn't dream about being stressed and busy and cluttered. (True story.)

So here's my first before picture. I'll probably take more. But this will give you your first shot at what I'll be up against. All while doing daily dishes, daily laundry, daily picking up, daily maintaining, daily showering, daily cooking, daily picking up couch blankets from the floor, daily pb&j and mac&cheese making, daily fighting with people to pick up their own stuff, daily telling people the floor is not a trash can, daily still-being-a-mom (who's-obviously-insane-for-taking on-something-else).

Well, supposedly "I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength..." I'm gonna need it.