Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Clutter Is Relative

 If you haven't checked out SRB's Who Needs It decluttering challenge, you should!
My favorite thing about her challenge is that is lasts all year. You can really take your time with it. And even if you have some relapses, there is time to make up for it. I am trying to think of this as more of a lifestyle change and not a spring cleaning weekend.

My dresser from my previous post last month still looks the same. BUT I did find a couple good places you can donate bras, so I feel like I am one step closer to tackling that.  Check out The Bra Recyclers and Free The Girls if you are interested in donating bras that don't fit.

I have a couple of "after" photos from what I have done. I am aware that they are probably what some people's "before" pictures look like. But, for me, these show progress in the decluttering process.

This closet is in our bedroom and was completely filled with so much random STUFF. Basically things piled from the bottom up and none of it was even being used. The things ranged from old bath mats to Adam's bowling shoes to a corded phone in case we lose power. You get the idea. 

So now I opened up enough space that I could put shelves in for towels and fleece guinea pig blankets. Since getting the guinea pigs months ago, their stuff has been in a basket on the floor of our bedroom so this is much better. We've never had a linen closet so having space to put our towels is a big deal. We can even fit our vacuum in there! This was really exciting because we had been cramming it into the front hall closet and it was not a great place for it.


You're probably looking at these and thinking they look cluttered, but we really took a lot off them and organized them better.


There are still things that need to be addressed in this room. Like to the left of the picture is Adam's computer desk, which is still a disaster. The bookshelf has many random things on the top that are basically there so they are out of Jay's reach. And we should be getting rid of probably half the books on that bookshelf. We have a lot of filled bookshelves in our house.

But, the coffee table and couch were piled high with things. All things I dealt with just today. It feels good to have that area looking so much better. I couldn't tell you the last time anyone sat on that couch before today. It was probably Christmas.


I am embarrassed to admit my craft stuff and shipping supplies were on this table piled as high as the picture above the table. And all the chairs were covered.

Jay was pretty surprised when he woke up from nap.

There may have even been some dancing on the table. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. 

And we even had dinner at the table. Amazing.

(A special thank you to SRB for her dining room cleaning encouragement today!)

Sophia and Penelope

 Meet the newest additions to our family!

 Penelope is the black and white guinea pig with longer fur. Sophia is dark brown, light brown, and white. They're sisters and they're obsessed with each other. If they are apart for any amount of time, they call out to each other. One will start squeaking and the other one will answer and and they will get louder until they are together again.

 We got them in the Fall when they were babies. I can't believe they could both fit under there when they were little because now they are so big that they can't fit under there at all. Not even when there is just one of them.

Sisters sharing lettuce in their play yard. 

 I love how Penelope's front feet are white and her back ones are black.

 Jay is so good with the girls. He always makes sure they get fair amounts of fruits and vegetables. He's always getting them snacks and talking to them. They know to get excited if Jay goes in the fridge.


Friday, January 24, 2014

De-Cluttering Challenge 1 - Fess Up

veggiesausagebuttonSRB is having a challenge over at her blog called Who Needs It. It's all about De-Cluttering. I am a big SRB fan and in need of de-cluttering so I knew this was something I had to be part of, despite being a bad blogger for the past year.

The first step is to fess up to the clutter. Taking pictures of it not only works for showing all of you my clutter, but it also gives me a different perspective on the clutter. Instead of it just being what is always in the background that I never notice anymore, it brings it front and center and forces me to look at it in a different way. I actually sometimes do this when working on etsy orders. After working on it for a long time, it is not until I see it in a photograph that I really see it.

Okay, deep breath, here is the first picture...

It's ridiculous. I know. This is my dresser in the bedroom. Let's take a closer look at what we have here...

1. A random jewelry box that until now hadn't been opened for years. A container of hair ties that I do use every day. Behind those is so much randomness. Like Chuck E Cheese tokens.

2.  Glow sticks because you never know when you may need some. Random CDs. Those can be found throughout my house.

3. Sports bras and socks. Why? BECAUSE MY UNDERWEAR DRAWER IS FULL OF BRAS THAT DON'T FIT. And why do I still have them? Because I can't admit I spent money on something I will never use. So they will sit there until they fit. (That will eventually happen, right?! Magic!)

4. Lotion and stain stick. I have a 3 year old. I need a stain stick available at all times.

5. This one makes me laugh. Hand weights covered in dust. 3 lbs and 5 lbs. They have not been touched since Jayden was born.

6. When I got my cancer diagnosis, a friend whose mother died from breast cancer gave me this bear. Someone gave it to her mom when she was diagnosed and she was passing it along to me. And then I was supposed to pass it along to someone else. But, I haven't and it just sits there. I feel like I shouldn't put it away somewhere and I haven't wanted to deal with it in any other way. But, it can't stay there. I just...don't know what to do with it. I need help with that one.

7. This shelf used to have something decorative on it, but now it's where we put things we don't want Jayden to get. From left to right: My deodorant, my head bands, permanent markers, Adam's deodorant, and a container with sharp things like tacks. I put the deodorant up high after Jayden rubbed it on his lego table. That table still has deodorant in the little grooves. It's impossible to clean.

8. Leftover decorations from Jayden's birthday. I have a problem with not knowing what to do with party stuff after the party is over. I have to figure out a solution. There are also sticks in there that I am trying to keep away from Jayden.

9. Dusty mirror that never gets used because I don't ever wear make up anymore. Or look in mirrors.

10. Basket of randomness.

Phew. That was exhausting. I think that's enough for now. I'm just dipping my toes in the de-cluttering challenge. If I don't die from the embarrassment of posting this, I will do it again.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We Love The Fall

There has been snow on the ground for a couple days now and I have been missing Fall. I was looking at our pictures and decided to share. 

picking pumpkins

 halloween party

trick or treating at the mall

We may have gone overboard this year with three different costumes for Jayden. Oh and then there were the five carved pumpkins and one painted one. What can I say? We love Halloween. And I love carving pumpkins.

 trick or treat!

my pumpkin

The best thing that has come from Halloween is the new love for playing dress up!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Assumptions And The Judgey Mom At The Play Place

Today is my sweet baby boy's THIRD birthday. Can you believe it?

We have a big party planned for him this weekend but I asked him what he would like to do today to celebrate. He picked a play place and Adam took a half day off of work to meet us there.

When we got there, the parking lot was full so we had to park in the back and take the back stairs in. The stairs were dark, dirty, and kind of scary. Then once we got up there, the door was locked and I had to call for them to let me in. The whole thing was weird and I should have known we were in for some trouble right there.

I kept looking at the clock and wondering where Adam was. He doesn't have a cell phone so I couldn't check in. I got more worried as time went on.

Meanwhile, he was in the parking lot wondering where I was. He didn't see my car and didn't know about the parking area behind (I didn't know until today either.) It had cleared out and there was plenty of parking so it never occurred to him. 

So at the same time, he was in his car freaking out about what happened to us. And I was inside pacing and wondering what happened to him.

Finally he came inside...and there we were! So we all sat down in the eating area to have lunch together.

I was the crazy mom taking pictures of my child eating.

 I made his sandwich into a train and I was excited to see his reaction. 

 Of course he ate the raisins I used to add details and announced he was done with lunch. 

And here is the picture of him eating a few bites only because I bribed him :P

So clearly I was in my own little world. Meanwhile, Adam noticed one of the moms was staring at us and giving us dirty looks. Whatever. It's Jayden's birthday and we're having a good time.

As time went by, it became increasingly obvious this person was angry with us. It was so weird. 

After lunch, Jay ran off and I got up to follow him. As I start to pass the mom, she confronts me. She came on really strong and in my face. She pointed in the general direction that Jay was and asked if that was my kid. I said, "Why? What did he do?" She got louder and said "IS THAT YOUR KID?" and then I realized she was not pointing to Jay. I was so confused. I realized she was mad at me for not watching my child....but he was not mine!! 

There was a one year old up in the tree fort area and I guess she felt someone should be watching him up there because he was young. All this time she had it in her head that Adam and I were eating lunch with Jayden, but left our one year old up in the tree fort. Why us? I had one interaction with the child when he was playing with Jay earlier, but that was it. I had a similar interaction with many of the kids there. 

I don't know why she made this whole scenario up in here head. And she was ANGRY with us over it. Isn't it amazing what happens when you assume things?

Even if he was my child, approaching me like that was not okay. And her hovering over the child and making a huge deal about him using the stairs alone was plenty obvious. She didn't need to talk loudly about how nobody was watching him. 

The real kicker is that she never apologized to me. In fact, a little bit later when Jay was climbing on something, Adam and I were sitting on a bench nearby, and we got another dirty look from her! Apparently we are supposed to stand next to him at all times. This is a small play place that is completely fenced in. Everything is perfectly safe. And Jayden is basically a professional climber at this point. She may have felt it was dangerous, but it was the safest place he had climbed all week.

I don't mind helicopter parents. I also don't mind parents with cell phones sitting on a bench. To each their own. As long as your kid isn't beating up mine while you ignore it, I don't care. I tend to be more on the helicopter side when in public just because Jayden is a runner and I don't trust him not to run into traffic. But, in a safe environment, I can be the mom with a phone sometimes too. No matter what parenting choices I may have been making at the time, nobody deserves to be talked to like that. And I didn't enjoy the dirty looks while I was eating lunch just because she has an active imagination.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First And Last Day Of Cloth Diapers

Jayden has been potty trained (at least at home) for weeks now and we're still using diapers for nap and sleeping, but it didn't make sense to keep using cloth and washing four diapers at a time. We had to face the fact that it was time to clean the diapers and pack them away.

(By the way, does anyone have any special advice for packing them away when you hope to use them again someday?)

So, here are pictures from his first and last time using cloth diapers--

I am going to miss his little fluffy butt in diapers. And I am going to miss our cloth diaper collection. Of course it brings up questions in my head of whether we will ever get to use them again. I am way sadder about this milestone than I thought I would be!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Winter Cabin Party

In February, my siblings and I threw a surprise party for my parents' birthdays. They are the same age-- just born three days apart-- and they were turning 60 so we knew we had to do something special.

They thought they were going to a winter cabin party adoption event. I even made a fake flyer about the fake event and put it on my fridge.

Of course last minute my dad had to go and make it difficult and say he might not come because he was really tired that day. I had to give him a big guilt trip about Jayden wanting him there.

There was a big snow storm right before the party. It made the park absolutely beautiful, but my brother's flight was cancelled. I was so sad because it was going to be a huge surprise that my brother was there. We live in NY and he lives in Oregon so it's not often he can come home. It would have been awesome. My sister did come from Boston though so that was a great surprise. My parents didn't even realize she was there for a while. They were talking to everyone else and then all of a sudden saw her. It was so fun. There were a couple other people that were big surprises too.


 Party Favors



I am now selling these centerpieces in my shop!
You can go here to check them out: So Much To Celebrate

The hit of the party was definitely the hot chocolate bar. 

 Fun with photo props (which can be purchased from So Much To Celebrate)

As it got to the end of the night, Jayden took the broom out and started sweeping. It was like he was saying, "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." 

This is how I found him in his car seat when we got home. He partied hard.

I am so happy we were able to pull this party off. They were truly surprised and it's a day they will remember.