Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lots to say ...

So many things have been bouncing around in my head lately ...

- My weekend was fabulous. It ended much too soon. We really need to get together with dh's family more often. They are all really nice and friendly and I do enjoy our time with them. And I feel sad that I don't know them better than we do. I should start sending out letters or something to them on a more regular basis. What's even sadder? One of his uncles lives maybe 45 minutes from us and we only see them at these family get togethers. Very sad indeed. Although, sometimes it feels awkward to be there with the only little ones and to be at such different stages in life. However, I think our little ones at the party helps make everyone else feel young as they play with my kiddos - which they all do quite well in fact!

- Dh and I have decided I will stay home this weekend with Little Man. He didn't fare well in the car, and this weekend dh will be driving about 30 minutes farther than we did this weekend. Now I know someone is thinking Little Man won't be a great traveler unless we get him used to traveling. The fact of the matter is that we have no trips planned until maybe next summer? And frankly spending two weekends with 10-12 hours in the car with a crabby baby who is crying and trying to climb out of his car seat (but thankfully not being able to) is not my idea of fun. And with no travel plans of that length in the next 12 months planned, I feel absolutely no duty to get him used to it. And truth be told, the girls are excited they get their daddy all to themselves this weekend and get to take a trip with just him. So in the end, I think it will be best for Little Man and myself to stay home. Not to mention next Friday, before the sun rises, dh leaves to go away for 9 days. So I'm glad the girls will get some time alone with him before he has to leave for such a long time. This will be the second time in our married life he has done this (last time I was pregnant and we were living with his grandparents so I wasn't really alone). I admit I am nervous because I will be alone and I have all three kids, and well frankly, I have lost a bit of control with the girls lately. Which brings me to my next point ...

- I have lost control of my girls lately. Now granted they are young, so by lost control I mean they aren't cleaning up their toys very well and telling me no a lot lately when I ask them to do something. I try very hard to not just say "PUT THAT AWAY!" I try to say "Girls, can you please put those toys away?" And they will look at me now and say No. It is very frustrating to say the least! So last night I called a family meeting (our first ever btw) and we talked about it. They have promised to try harder and I have promised to not yell so much at them (which if they listen I should not have to yell! LOL!) It was all good and this morning they woke up and cleaned their room without me ever having to say anything to them at all. Nice!

Phew. There is more to say but I have to feed these kiddies of mine! Adios.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Howdy everyone =)
Greetings from out of town ... we are here, near to St. Louis, for a birthday party/family reunion.
We are having a grand time so far. We arrived yesterday after a sort of long car trip. Little Man is not a fan of being in the car for more than a few hours or so, which doesn't bode well for a 5+ hour car trip. But we made it and we are in one piece!

I will be shutting this thing down in a few moments, but I wanted to say ...
Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day. Please, amidst all your celebrations, take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is all about. And also, take a moment to think about all those currently serving our country is such an honorable way. That is all I wanted to say to you, but I really hope that you do have a wonderful weekend and I will see you next week!

Monday, May 21, 2007


My oldest daughter's co-op classes are done for the year. Can I just tell you all how very excited I am about this? This year was not fun for me. Mondays actually depressed me. I dreaded them. It seemed we had full weekends, then I had to wake everyone up on Monday to get to these classes.
I drove an hour, sat for 4 hours, and then was able to make it home in about 40 minutes (yes, a 20 minutes difference since on the way there was during rush hour traffic!) Thinking about all the things I could be doing at home or needed to be doing at home. Then bringing home 3 crabby children who were all tired. The Little Man does usually sleep part of the way home, but that might mean a 20 minute nap for a crabby little person. And so Monday nights become a rough night. And Tuesday weren't much fun either.
But today. Today was the last one.
Which is sad, but not sad. I know my dd will miss the kids and the teachers. But really, since we've moved, it has not been ideal to be there on Mondays (before we had maybe a 15 minute drive each way).
I just want to throw a party to celebrate ... but really? I'm too tired to party.

Little Man is all out of whack with sleep - and has been staying up much too late - which means I have been staying up much too late. I might have been able to catch a 30 minute nap today because he stayed asleep when we got home, but I laid him down, then laid myself down, only for the phone to ring.

Really, though, I shouldn't complain. It was a friend, whom we haven't seen in a while and she wanted to get together. And I'm excited to get together, but I was also excited to get a bit of a catnap.

But next Monday? Okay, next Monday we will be out of town, but the Monday after that? Provided the kids cooperate? Then I'm sleeping in. LOL!

Friday, May 18, 2007

So much to say ...

and not enough time to blog it all! LOL!

First of all, my birthday was lovely. Thank you for the wishes you sent me =) My family, once again, spoiled me and treated me like a queen =) I really do have pretty great people living with me!

Yesterday morning dh went out of town. He will return late tonight. As much as I fretted about it, you might think he was leaving the country for a few weeks or something! LOL! But the truth is, since I knew he wasn't coming home last night, I pretty much didn't do anything around the house yesterday. I know, it's terrible but it's the truth. We went over to my parents house last night so I could celebrate my birthday with them. So I didn't really take care of dishes from the day. There weren't that many anyway so I wasn't too concerned. And well, I could have vacuumed yesterday, but decided to wait until today. Anyway, my point is, the house looked messy LOL! Then this am while I was still asleep, I had a dream. In my dream it was today and people started showing up at my house just to stop by and say hi. So know what happened? I hopped out of bed, got dressed, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the family room, and cleaned the living room LOL! Just in case my dreams were trying to tell me something hahaha. And oh, the girls cleaned their room also. So now I'm sitting in a pretty neat and tidy house, just waiting for the three kids to make it look all messy again.

Anyway, life's been pretty good this week. And I'm glad that we went out of the house last night, because when dh doesn't come home after work it just puts me in this mood. I'm afraid to not get that few minutes of a break he gives me when he gets home. I need it soo much that just knowing it won't happen, kind of puts a kink in my mood. But being away from the house alleviates that feeling because then there are other adults around. Although, next month my man is leaving me for 9 days to go into the middle of nowhere, aka the Boundary Waters between US and Canada. 9 days. 9 days without him. The most I've been left alone with the 3 kids by myself has been about, oh, 48 hours? I'm very scared about this whole 9 day trip. But I will survive.

A lot of our school year activities are over, or will be over soon, and can I just say WOO-HOO! I don't mind the activities per se, it's the driving too and from and since we have moved this has become a whole lot harder. Not to mention I feel like I die a little bit more every Monday my oldest has her co-op. It is not a good place for Little Man. My Mondays are spent keeping him out the places he shouldn't be or sitting isolated in our car for four hours. It's not fun. It's not pretty. And although I feel bad, we will NOT be returning next year. I have heard rumor their is a co-op closer to where we have moved that is much more pleasant for those parents who still have young children. So we might try that one out next year. Or we might just take a one year break from all co-ops. I have not yet decided. Admittedly, the budget is tight and I feel like I need a mental break from it all. And in two years both my girls will be old enough for classes so it might be more fun that way anyway.
I have until the fall to make a decision and I won't rush myself through it.

With that said, I have 3 kids who are fighting for my attention, three bags to make (end of year teacher gifts) and it's a lovely day outside to boot!

Happy Friday everyone =)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Birthday ...

to ME! =)
Yes, today is my birthday! I love my birthday. I mean I really do enjoy them. I don't worry about getting a year older (although maybe that feeling will come someday but it has not yet!)
I love celebrating another year with the kids and my husband and my family. I love the cake or the ice cream or the pie we will eat tonight. I love singing happy birthday - as a matter of fact I sing it all the time for no reason and my son actually loves to hear it LOL!
I just love birthdays period and mine seems all that much more fun, because, well, it's mine!
Anyway, today I will be trying to soak it up, enjoy it, and love on my family as they love on me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mother's Day Recap

So I haven't yet shared, but I had the most fantastic Mother's Day ever! And I really mean it!

It started off with our annual tradition of me getting breakfast in bed! My dh lovingly does this for me each and every year on Mother's Day and it never gets old or boring or repetitive! I think it is the best way to wake up by far =)

After breakfast, it was time to get ready for church ...

Here are me and the girls before leaving for church Sunday morning. Despite both of them having red eyes, they are in fact not little devils - well, okay, most of the time they are not! I will say they were both fantastic on Sunday, trying to make my Mother's Day the best ever!

We tried to get Little Man in the picture - he however, would have none of it!

Anyway, church was particularly important on Sunday because my two youngest children were dedicated. Something I have been wanting to do for some time now. My oldest was actually dedicated on Mother's Day in 2000 so it was even more nice to have the other two done on Mother's Day as well. It has always bothered me that the two littlest had nothing done when my oldest did. The truth is when my 4 year old was younger we didn't go to church! Who am I kidding? I wasn't even going to church when my 1 year old was born. But I started going again and felt like it was time to do it. I mentioned it to the church a few months ago and they called me a few weeks ago and told me they were scheduling one on the calendar so I signed us up!

Unlike last time, we actually went and met with the pastor. Well, it was more like, we went to his office and the kids ran around and touched as much as they could! And him and my 4 year old read a book together. So although we aren't best friends, at least he knew my kids a bit (my 7 year old was dedicated at a much larger church. She was dedicated at the same time as a bunch of other kids. To prepare for it, we went to a one hour meeting without her and learned where to stand and when to say "we will." Although it doesn't surprise me given the much larger church and congregation, I have to admit, I liked this one much better precisely because it felt so much more personal.)

On stage for the dedication - starting from left to right:
The pastor, my aunt (who was sort of like our sponsor) dh holding Little Man, Oldest child, myself, Miss M, the other pastor and then you can see the other little girl who was dedicated that day and her father! My aunt was up there because this is the church she goes to. We go because she invited us - and for a while she was the one taking my children to sunday school. It was nice she could be up there with us though =)

Another shot - Miss M is still up there, but the angle of the camera blocks her out! She is standing beside me!

After all of that, we went back to granny's house for a nice, simple lunch. It was granny, grandpa, aunt from picture above, her children, one of my sisters, my dh's dad and step-mom and their son (also dh's brother) and another cousin of dh's. We talked, ate, chatted, etc. After a few hours, we came home. Dh took a bit of a nap and I had some nice quiet time while Little Man also napped and the girls played.

Later we went to my mom's to celebrate with her. The girls and I gave her some handmade soaps, bath salts, and bath fizzies. It's here I have to admit that I absolutely enjoyed making those items and am already planning on making some more. To which I'm sure dh is oh-so-happy that I have found yet something else to make and buy! LOL!

And then it was time to come home, put the munchkins to bed and rest myself.
I do have to say this, my family went out of their way to spoil me on Sunday. And I am so thankful, but you know what the truth is? They spoil me in smaller ways each and every day, and for that I am truly thankful! It's nice to get the extra attention once a year, but what makes me family so special is that they really do love and care for me each and every day!

All of my mother's day flowers - a lovely pot of real flowers, a pot of very great paper flowers, and the corsage I got from church for the dedication

These are my favorite flowers by far!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

To all who are mothers, to all who will be mothers, to all who helped someone by acting like a mother to them, have a wonderful and happy mothers day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

If Everyone Cared (video)

Watch this. Be moved by it. Know that you too can make a difference - maybe it won't be in a video one day or talked about for ages, but you can make a difference. You can help.
Take a few moments today and think about something you can do, a way you can help, how you can reach out to another person and help them.
I know I have been shown lots of kindness in my life that has made a difference, and I try to give back when I can! I hope you do as well =)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

And yet ...

another good day!
We went out of the house, we met some friends.
I have to tell all you people - I was about as relaxed as I can remember being in a long time. Me. I actually relaxed. Seriously, for those who know me irl, you will know I very rarely relax! As a matter of fact, with having 2 very active children, several people (who are close enough to get away with saying this to me without me getting mad) have commented that they are probably picking up on my anxious/nervous energy and imitating it the way they know how.
But today, I was relaxed.
And you know what happens when I relaxed. Little problems do not seem so HUGE anymore. When something little happens, it does not feel as if the sun might not rise tomorrow. It does not feel like my life as I know will be completely over. It does not feel like the Earth will spin off it's elliptical path around the sun and fly off into oblivion. It feels like, a small problem that I can deal with without freaking out, yelling, getting completely terrified, and screaming some more.
That is truly amazing. A feeling I've been trying to find for several years. (People, I pay way too much money every two weeks for a therapist to help me do this. And God bless him, because he has tried, I just haven't gotten it before. And I've been avoiding things he encourages me to not avoid. Wait until he hears about all of this. I think he might even be a bit shocked ROFL!)
You know what my 7 year old told me today? She told me that I look very happy and she likes it.
Life is good. It is so good right now. I know that it will not always feel like this. I know that I will feel pain and sadness again and I will get stressed and anxious again. It will happen. Life is not perfect nor am I nor are the people I know. But at least when those feelings hit, I can look back on today and know that I can get through it. That I don't have to live like that forever. And that my friends is probably the best thing I've taken away this week.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Today ....

Today has been a better day. It truly and honestly has!
I think I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders yesterday. I think a lot of things clicked in my head that never clicked before. I've never told my story beginning to end - always short fragmented pieces and it's amazing how just getting it all out, in one sitting, in one telling, made things click in my head that just hadn't clicked before. And as I wrote and the thoughts were coming to me, I wrote them too. I know when I look back over what I wrote it is not at all what I thought I would write. I thought I could get it all out in a few lines, just skim through it, move on and forget I wrote it. But I didn't. And I think it was much better the way it happened (and I think I am saying and a lot tonight! LOL!)
Anyway, it was good. It was quite therapeutic for me. And the best part of all? Just like I thought, it lost some of it's power. I can tell already. Seriously, amazing! Just amazing. I really wasn't sure if it would or not. I thought for sure I'd wake up in a panic attack this morning, sprint to the computer and instantly delete the post and thing what in the world did I do yesterday?!?!?!?! And instead I woke up pretty dang calm.
So anyway, I've said it. That is out of the way. I don't have to dance around it or skirt around or feel like I have this big shameful secret locked up inside me that I'm struggling to keep hidden.
That said, I don't really want to make any of that the focus of this blog. And I will go back to posting really boring, mundane, this is what I did today type posts! And maybe if it's relevant, I might bring it up again. And then again, I might not. Really, I don't know. I do know that it actually felt good when I posted yesterday. And I never saw that feeling coming. Because I can guarantee this, if I thought it would have helped, I would have done it a long time ago!

Monday, May 07, 2007

I am desperately trying ...

to be good enough. Not great, not wonderful, just good enough.
And I feel as if I keep failing at that task. Actually I don't just feel like it, I have proof of it.
Today my 7 year old told someone I was depressed because I had children. A week ago she told someone she thought I might sell her if I had the chance to. Seriously. My child said this. No one can look at me now and tell me I am not failing in this role we call motherhood. No one can tell me that it is okay and that I really am a great mom underneath it all. Because, truthfully if someone actually said that right now, I wouldn't believe them. Because, really, no child should have to walk around feeling like they caused their mother to be depressed or that their mother, the person who they should feel safe with and secure with and endless amounts of love from, would sell them if they had the chance. My heart is breaking - for my daughter. And I wonder does my 4 year old feel this way? Does my 1 year old feel this way? Am I causing all my children to feel this way, or is it just my 7 year old who feels distant from me?
And I feel the need to tell you this as well so you don't think I'm a horrible mother, just a not so good one, why is it that every other day of the week she'll tell me she loves me, she knows I love her, and that she things I'm the best mom ever? And today I talked to her about what she said. And I apologized for making her feel like she was making me depressed. And I told her that I'm trying to be a better mom to her and her siblings and that I do love her with all my heart. And I thank God for her each and every day and nothing makes me more depressed than thinking she wouldn't be my daughter and how I would never ever sell her for any amount of money and she can look at me with her big blue eyes and say "Mom, you don't need to become a better mom. You are already perfect the way you are!" Seriously people, what in the world? Does she say those nice things to cheer me up, to make me feel better, because she thinks I love her more. And then just once in a while the truth about what she feels comes out? Or are these little things she is saying once every 2 weeks just things she is saying because she doesn't really understand them or because it's just something to say and she doesn't mean it?
I asked her why she thought I was depressed. She told me my face looks sad a lot. I tried to explain the difference between being sad and depressed (not sure she got it). I told her that I worry a lot and sometimes all that worry makes me sad - but it's never about her (or the other two). I told her that I might worry about money or sad things that are happening in the world and things like that, but never her.
But right now, right now I feel more sad than I have in while. And now I am feeling a bit depressed.
I don't know how to make it right. I tried to be as honest with her as I could be (she is 7 after all) and I tried to hug her tightly and let her know I loved her and I try each and every day to be a good mom. And I just don't know what to do now. I feel stuck about what to do, on how to better myself and make myself a better mom.
I know I am hanging on to too much of the past. It's controlling me, and not in a good way. I know I think I should be able to fix everything in this world and yet, I can't do it and it hangs on me. I know I worry too much, that I have too much anxiety, that I expect too much from myself and when I can't met those expectations I get very sad and down, and I know that until I fix those things in myself, I can't ever be a better mom. And I am trying - not only for my children, but for my husband and myself. I am trying. But would you pray a little extra for me? Because it is obvious to me that I must try harder, I must confront some difficult things I have been avoiding for far too long, that I have to let go to some how-my-life-should-be-thoughts as they are not helping me but hurting me. Would you pray that I can get myself together and that my children will benefit from that, that they would see me shine more often and not look so sad or burdened or weighed-down? And that they would get the mom they deserve and need right now?

Just enjoying ...

the lovely day we are having here in the Chicago-land area today!
Yes, folks, I am sitting outside on a nice chair as the children run and ride around me. I suppose this could either mean that I'm pretty lucky to be able to do this or that I am extremely addicted to the internet if I must drag the laptop outside with me! LOL! My vote is I'm a bit of both ;-)

Actually, I had some work to do (yes, I got another order at my store and I can't begin to tell you how extremely excited I am about that. It really is a good thing) and so I thought I could kill two birds with one stone by dragging this here computer out with me.

Actually, today has been a very productive day for me so far. Despite having been out of the house for quite a few hours today I have actually accomplished a lot. I suppose after doing the 30 day organizational challenge it really made me think about being organized. And, well, the truth is, I am not very organized at all. Not at all - which showed itself to me quite blatantly today I was trying to become organized! But I am getting there. Today I created a chore chart for the entire family and spaces all those must do jobs over the course of the week - laundry, dusting, cleaning, all that not so fun stuff that it is hard to find motivation for (well, unless you happen to be strange and actually like cleaning LOL!) Last night I made a huge list over at a site I signed up on a while ago, but didn't use much: Ta-da Lists. Best of all, it is free to use. I have three lists for this week: personal, business, and Moms Club items. Last night there were a combined 46 items between the 3 lists. Now I am down to 37 items. Which really isn't so bad I don't think. I'm hoping to knock most things off during the next three days so that the end of my week can be relaxing and I can take things easy! Ah, wouldn't that be nice!

Well now I should sign off. My son keeps heading towards the street - he is need of some major distraction! Till later =)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mothers Day ...

is coming soon, and the folks at 5 minutes for Mom are hosting some great give-aways! It seems they always have something wonderful over there to give out. And once again I am joining in on the fun, even though I didn't win the dyson or the coach purse. I'm really not very lucky truth-be-told, but I'll enter again, hoping against hope that I might win something LOL!

Anyway they are doing three great give-aways, but I'm only opting in for 2 of them, but I'll share all three here in case you want to win all of them!
  1. the first contest is for Best Buy’s Special Mother’s Day Apple iPod Nano and Chocolate Gift Set!
  2. beautifully handmade Mei Tai baby carrier made by Jenn from All Natural Mommies
  3. and the third is a copy of “Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover - The Six Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life.
I would like both 2 and 3 myself (I already have a great mp3 player that I am in love with so I'm saving the ipod for those who really want it!)

Anyway, I'm crossing my fingers for one of them and if you enter, I'll wish you luck as well!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Need some prayers ...

A friend of mine is 32 weeks pregnant. Yesterday they discovered the baby has an irregular heartbeat. Today they sent her for a fetal-echocardiogram. She is nervous and scared right now. Please, please, send prayers and good thoughts out to this mama and to her little son. Prayer that they can find out why the heartbeat is irregular (and we are also praying and hoping it was just a fluke with the u/s yesterday) and also that the doctors will know what to do and that this mom can find a beat of peace during this very stressful time.
Thank you everyone who does this!

An Update:
After going through several tests and meeting with a few specialists yesterday, my friend has been told the baby is have some heart PAC's. They believe the baby will outgrow it even before birth and it should cause no problems at all. However, they will be monitoring the heart rate weekly from now on just to be sure and they will do one more ultrasound before birth. She is hoping for a VBAC and the specialists were supportive of it as long as she is not in the small percent were the PACs turn into something more. She is feeling so relieved right now and so thankful that things will be okay. And frankly, so am I! Thanks again everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A few things ...

First of all, Heather, whom I mentioned here, had her surgery today. Please send many prayers and thoughts to her and her family right now. And read updates here. I have to say though, it sounds to me like things are going as well as they can and that is good.

Second, I have a tiny update to say. Remember when I talked about feeling led to get to know someone, but wasn't sure if I was just crazy and should ignore that feeling or if I should follow it? (If you don't remember, that's okay, but it was here). And everyone who responded said, yes, follow your instinct.
Well, I did. First of all, I decided on Friday to follow through, knowing I would see her tonight. And my dd has asked a few times if her little friend can come over - so I felt like I was being drawn to the family and so was my 4 year old, so really, I must do something! So all weekend I have been completely knitting away at this blanket to give them for the newest arrival. Because of how things worked out, I actually ended up talking to the husband on Tuesday. Amazingly enough, he will be performing the dedication of my 2 youngest children at our church (isn't it funny how this is all coming together in this way?!). Anyway, tonight I told my dd who wanted to befriend this other child that she could give them the present from our family. She proudly handed it to the mom. Now, I know we shouldn't give gifts for the thank you's receive, but it is nice to feel the gift is appreciated, especially something hand-made. I have to tell you, that mom was so nice and thankful and seemed so appreciative of it. And I get that that isn't the point (but I will pause to say I once gave someone a hand-knit blanket, hand-knit baby booties to match and she opened it up, said "oh that's nice, what's next?" and threw it to the side and went for the next present. Seriously, heart crushing and really, even though the thank you is not the point, it was still hard to take that, kwim?) Okay, so anyway, back to where I was, she seemed so genuine and authentic in her thanks. Although it seemed to me if I had given her a quarter for the new baby she would have been thankful just that we even thought of the baby and did something, which I think more people (myself included!) should have that sort of attitude!
And my dd gave the other child a card with a nice message about becoming a big brother and maybe they could play sometime. And the mom said she thought that was a splendid idea to get together. And my heart is just so completely swelled up with emotion. I really hope they do call, and we do get together.

I have to say doing this felt so right and I know I was correct to act on my instinct (even if I did need pushes from my blog-buddies!) Anyway, we'll see what happens with all of this. But I feel good about all of this. I really do. And if for no other reason, at least my dd can have a friend over and get to run around and play for a bit.

Thirdly, I am almost at my 500th post! I can't even begin to believe I have 500 posts here! I want to do something very fun for it, but am not sure once. Maybe a contest, but Sam (winner of the last contest I threw) probably is shaking her head at this as it only took me like 4 months to get her prize out to her! ::hanging head in shame:: But, keep checking back! I want to think of something fun to celebrate number 500 =)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

30 Day Organizational Challenge Bonus...

I did the unfinished part as a bonus. I didn't change too much in there, just reorganized it and put a few more things in it. I didn't enter this room into a contest per se, but did it just to have it done! With so many of the kids arts and craft things in here, it will be a room I need to "organize" often. Although, they are getting better about putting things away, but especially when friends are over and a lot gets pulled out, it gets very messy very quickly in that tiny room!

Unfinished part of basement

his is my home school corner! As you can see there are a lot of books there ... I keep crossing fingers that the shelves don't break!

more shelves in the unfinished part - the first shelf has kids art supplies (and those are actually two shoe holders sitting on giving us the feeling of more shelves). The top shelf has some craft items that dont' fit in the craft room. And yes, I know I own too many craft things! LOL!

All this area was open - they had the two upper shelves in here already, but a lot of wasted space was here. I had originally asked dh to add more shelves at the lower level, but he wasn't sure if he would have time, so we used a bunch of short furniture we already had and bought the one bookcase so we could utilize this space better for us!

30 Day Organizational Challenge ...

Well tonight marks the end of the 30 Day Organizational Challenge.
I did manage to organize the space in my basement, but not at all how I wanted it to look and frankly, I am not satisfied with it. But it is better than it was before and I will have to live with it until I can buy furniture for down there that will be suitable to store our items (so yes, please go shop at my store now so I can do that sooner - just kidding readers!)
Anyway the pictures are below ... and if you go to my flicker page, you can see much more detailed description of it all. Anyway, here's the pictures:

Before shots:

the view from the office doors ...

the view from coming down the stairs

standing behind the futon ... you can see part of the office door to the left.
(the door on the right leads to a mini-closet housing a sub-pump)

Also from the back of the futon, but angled more to get the especially
hideously disorganized corner!

Bonus room: the unfinished part of the basement.

After pictures:

When you come down the stairs, this is your first view. My desk now behind the futon. This desk is especially neat because the top actually flips open and so the length is doubled when I work. I should have taken a picture, but alas, I did not.

inside the desk - my scrapbooking supplies

Where the toy baby items are is where we are hoping to move dh's desk to someday and next to it to replace the toy holder and boxes, more bookcases I hope!

View from right behind the futon. I would like to put a big entertainment center along this wall someday (some of the furniture I need to buy) with shelves and all that jazz to put the tv we will eventually buy down here and books around it and if there were some cabinets at the bottom, I would hide toys in there!

Anyway, there it is, in all it's glory. Like I said, not what I wanted, but it will do for now. And it is better down there than it was before. But I really wish that I could grow a money tree in the backyard so that funds were ulimited. For now I will stalk all sale papers and craigslist and hope that something that we can use down there pops up. But I'm guessing that won't happen until fall. We need a few months to recover from all the spending we did when we first moved in!

Questions to answer:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?
The hardest part was not having enough places to put items away. And no, I was not able to overcome it. I really think we need some great shelves and storage units down there. We want the room to look very organized and clean and lose that lots of boxes feeling. Unfortunately we were not able to find anything that met our needs and our budget. It is frustrating, but I have to say again, even though I didn't do all that I wanted to, I am glad for what I did do and it does make a difference!

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?
The kids now know where there toys in the new house go. We had not yet set up places for them prior to this. Also I am now in the habit of each day collecting the basement items on the first floor, taking them down, and then bringing the upstairs items back up! This is something my dh ahs dreamed of me doing for a while now so he is happy with it!
I think for us, just getting places to put things was all we needed and doing this helped us really think about where we wanted things in the new house to go.

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
Anything that was good went to goodwill, anything that was not, was tossed aside. Some clothing items we found were given to friends that we knew who could use them

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
My kids have too many things. I have too many things. We need to purge much more often and really not keep every little thing just in case. We don't have room for it. We don't need it. And even though it is hard to let go of things in that moment, once it's gone, it feels so good to see a nice clean space and know that what you have fits in it!

5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?
YES! Because my children will learn to do it and it makes the day run better when I am not so frustrated because the house is a mess. If thing have their own spots and the kids know it and I know it then it makes it so much easier to keep the place picked up. I really don't do the whole "uh-oh, it's 5:00 and daddy will be home soon so straighten up really quickly and get all frazzled because the house is a pigsty" anymore. And let me tell you, it makes for much better evenings and much better days overall.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Party Time!

Well, the party is over and it was a great party.
I managed to have the house mostly clean - you know, as clean as it could be with the kids running around underfoot - and the food was all ready to go. People started coming. Two people came who hadn't been here before and dh nicely took them around to show the house - which I appreciated as I was still trying to take care of last minute details.
And then we were all here aside from one aunt. And all of a sudden my 7 year old runs in the house and shouts "Granny's here!" and I was very confused. Because granny and grandpa were not yet back in our state from their winter stay in Florida. But she was insistent and so I walked outside and missing aunt had brought granny with her! That was my big surprise for the evening =) So granny (and grandpa too lol) are home from Florida and last night granny was able to see most of the house. Stairs are hard so we skipped the basement part of the tour. It was so nice to see granny =)
So then the party went on. We saw the little sales presentation. I now want most of the items Taste of Home Entertaining sells LOL! But it was a lovely time and no, I won't buy all their items.
So it was time for the party to wrap-up. Granny was going to go home and my four year old burst into tears and just started to freak out. It was awful and heart-wrenching. She thought granny was moving in here with us. She has asked a few times when granny and grandpa were going to move in with us. We have explained to her several times that granny and grandpa were going to stay at their house and only we were going to move out. Obviously, she didn't quite get it. And last night it really hit home that we really were not living with granny and grandpa anymore. And it is very sad and it is even more sad now that they are back in town. My 4 year old even woke up and cried this morning about it some more.
But it is very nice that they are back in town! And I know that we will be over there to visit a lot. And although I do miss living with them (and honest to goodness, I do miss living with them very much!) but I have to say, I am also extremely thankful we are in our own home right now. And I love the new neighborhood and I love the life we are building here and now! But I will be back at granny and grandpa's often and I will always look back on our time with them fondly =)