Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions

I don't like resolutions. I only feel like a giant failure when I screw them up. So I'm not going to commit to anything this year. Except myself maybe. I resolve to consider what I'm doing, when I'm doing it. To think through decisions, and perhaps that will help me make better ones. I feel like today is my last hurrah. I have been eating ALL THE THINGS this holiday season and I stopped running on the treadmill in November. I needed a break, so I took one. And I let myself off the hook for all of it. The not running, the eating all the things, the pie, the cookies, all the foods. But I'm always right back here when it's almost over. I'm a bit sorry for that break. I don't feel the best, I know I don't look the best and I'm ready to get it back. I hope getting back physically gets me back mentally. I guess we'll find out.

So...to copy everyone else, who copies Linda...

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
A day trip by motorcycle. Does that even count? It's not like its fancy or anything. But I hadn't done it before, and I'm looking forward to it again.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't make resolutions - see above. If I had, it's highly unlikely I'd have kept them.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! My sister in law had a beautiful baby girl the day before my birthday. She's fantastic. We met her in person over Christmas and she's a great baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. I think we're waiting to leave the country again for another 5 years or so, when the girls are old enough to self-care, but can stay with the grandparents.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Money? Who doesn't want more money. I'm not saying we had none, or wanted for anything, but I'd just like my financial plans to work out as planned for once.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Probably this holiday season, we met the new baby, and my youngest lost her first two teeth. It feels so early for her, but she's only 5, she's still in preschool. The in-laws moved to town in November also, which is pretty freaking awesome.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I have no achievements, I'm feeling very mediocre about this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
An incident at a water park. No big deal, but it gives me nightmares. And I generally didn't excel at anything, which feels like failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes I guess so. My left knee now requires a stupid brace so I can use the treadmill or run in a 5k. I also somehow pulled something in my upper left back that refuses to heal. I feel 85% certain its a deep muscle pull, but you'd think after 2 months it'd be at least a little better. Maybe it is, either that or I'm just used to it now.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My bedroom furniture..with the new motorcycle taking a close 2nd. I also sort of got into an organizational groove this year, so I bought a lot of things to help organize the house and all our crap - which is pretty awesome.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage (4 years to go), Video games, Motorcycles

13. What did you get really excited about?
My bedroom furniture. I'm a real grown up now.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Hmmm, this is a good question. I guess maybe The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" maybe. I feel like there was a lot of songs I liked this year, just can't pinpoint.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? The same I think. I fluctuate, but I'm generally happy.
– thinner or fatter? Definitely fatter.
– richer or poorer? About the same I think.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Not sweating the little stuff, or not sweating that I get very little help with it without specifically asking which defeats the purpose of getting help...gah. Nevermind.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being so impatient with the kids. Sometimes I reach that point of OMG I CANNOT TAKE THIS way too fast.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve was madness, spent with the in-laws and a troupe of in-law invaders. Christmas day we woke up at home, in our own beds, had a great morning with gifts and breakfast. Then we headed over to my dad's for more gifts and easy food and a relaxing afternoon.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
This is tough. I like so many. Grey's Anatomy? No wait, maybe Rizzoli & Isles. No wait - The Voice. Definitely The Voice. I love that show.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
No favorites, but I did read quite a few. I also sorted out our bookshelves, donated a bunch and I have a pile I need to read so I can just donate them as well.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Isn't this a duplicate question? I enjoyed The Band Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, and a bunch of other stuff. I listen to XM Radio in the car, and CDs I own at home..so I don't get much new music.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Twilight Breaking Dawn part 1 - does that count. I don't think I have a favorite otherwise. I'm waiting for RedBox to watch the 2nd part. EDITED: I'm a liar. Pitch Perfect was my favorite movie of the year. I loved that movie, and I think I need to get the soundtrack too!

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We waited for pictures and a name announcement for my new niece. She was born the day before. I turned 36.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Magically winning the lottery without playing, losing weight when I ate pie and didn't exercise. This question is stupid.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Try not to look like a frumpy mom. Try to choose trendy outfits that work on my body. I may or may not have succeeded.

26. What kept you sane?
Video games and wine. We discovered a new winery thanks to some friends and have finally found a sweet red wine we can put away like grown ups. And video games like Gears of War 3 and Black Ops 2 let me get my aggression out in a healthy way. It's healthy. shhhh.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012

I doubt I learned anything. I already know I eat to mask my emotions. I already know I don't say what I should say when I should say it. I already know I let things fester. I already know what I should probably be doing about my weight/fitness/health. I'll get to it I guess.

Having answered those..I don't know how I feel about this whole thing. I intend to exercise again. Starting tomorrow. I intend to make better food choices. Starting tomorrow. I CAN do this. I WILL. I don't need some official resolution to do so and I'd rather not feel like a loser if I fall behind in my goals.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Slacker

Wow. It's been awhile I guess. I sometimes get ideas for a blog post, but it turns out I'm pretty lazy. Finding time to sit down and write it, find a photo maybe, be funny and charming. Gah. Too much work. So the blog sits. Sorry.

November 1st the great grandparents moved close to town. They were in Illinois, about 3 hours from us, and now they're about 15 minutes away in an assisted living retirement place. It's pretty awesome. I can't tell you how much the girls hated driving 3 hours to see them, and we didn't do it very often. Now we see them all the time, as often as we want and it's so easy to pop out there if they need something or to pick them up and bring them over for a holiday or a visit or whatever. They love it there too, they have their own apartment and space and they brought their dog with them. There is a nursing staff keeping on top of the diabetes involved which is great because he can't slack off or they'll get on him about it, so it's better for them as well. It's pretty awesome.

November 17th we moved the in-laws into their new house. It is a beautiful ranch style home with three bedrooms and two baths and a full unfinished basement. It's really wonderful. I love all the choices they made for finishes and now I'm so jealous I have started plotting how to upgrade my own home :) It is so nice to be able to pop over there now - they're only 4 minutes away, less than 2 miles. Previously they were 2 hours away. The girls LOVE this new drive to see Grandma and Grandpa. LOVE IT. So the 17th we got up early, took the girls to my dad's house for the morning and we headed to their old city to load up the moving trucks (actually moving boys did that) and head back here. We got in the car at 930 to head out of town and we passed my father in law in the first truck about 10 minutes outside of their old city. We got to the storage place, I got into the driver seat of our truck, the husband got into the other moving truck and we headed directly back home. It was the fastest we've ever taken that trip. Then we sort of watched the movers unload and helped direct. The 5yo wasn't feeling well, so it turns out I took a sick kid to my dads and she threw up (mostly snot) about five times while she was there. She has a really weak stomach, so a cold = vomit, nearly every time. She was mostly recovered by Sunday and we helped settle the in-laws into their home more. Moving furniture, assembling beds and arranging their basement a little bit so it was another usable space. It's really really nice and we couldn't be more pleased that they're hear. Since then, they've called a couple times to borrow something (a lot of their things are still in boxes and kind of hard to find) and they say whenever we have a minute to bring it by. It literally only takes 4 minutes (it'd be less without stoplights and signs or traffic) so we always just pop over there for what they need. I think they're not used to that, but it's huge for us, we love that part. The whole point of them moving here was to be closer, see us more..pop in. It's pretty awesome.

Thanksgiving was a whirlwind. Since all our family is all in town now it's easy to schedule and figure out what we're doing when. So we had Thanksgiving with the in-laws, great grandparents at an aunt-in-law's house. It was great food and visiting and we got to Skype with my sister in law and see that squishy baby she's got. It was a great day, and we were home before dinner time. That's both a bonus and a drawback. Bonus because we had time to start on our Christmas shopping plans but a drawback because we had no leftover turkey. Friday we headed over to my brother's for another Thanksgiving. Their new house is nice and big and the kids can run off and play and we can hardly hear them. We played pictionary and catchphrase and it was a pretty great day. Saturday and Sunday we caught up on things around the hose and tried to pin down our Christmas gift plans. Ideally we wanted to be all done with the shopping by early December.

We succeeded mostly. We've only got to find a couple more gifts for the girls, pickup something for my nephew and new neice and figure out stockings. We've got a date planned for this Friday to leave the girls with the in-laws OVERNIGHT and finish up our shopping, have dinner and a night of our own. I hope nothing gets in the way of that. It seems like every time we plan something without the girls..it gets interrupted by puke or something. So I'm really hopeful we can do this. It's just an overnight and Christmas shopping, but I could really use that.

I'm looking forward to Christmas. My sister in law is coming for nearly a week and bringing that squishy baby girl and I cannot wait to see her in person and get some squeezes. It'll be so much fun to hang out with them and to have everyone so near by and avoid the inevitable driving they end up doing when people are spread out. This way we can gather at my in-laws easily throughout the holiday and get our fill of each other. It's going to be awesome.

In unrelated news I have this odd pain in my upper back. Sort of below my shoulder blade, but it feels more...inside. I'm terrible at explaining it and I blame it on sleeping on a MyPillow that was too fat for me for a week. It feels kinda like there's a little bouncy ball in there..and so if I just sit normal, it's fine. If I reach for my nightstand light..or breathe super deep, or sneeze, gah the sneezes...it feels like the bouncy ball doesn't fit anymore and it hurts a bit. I convince myself that its a muscle pull most likely..most of the time. I dunno. I saw a chiropractor who called it weird and I'm not sure it's really that big of a deal or worth seeing an MD so they can say 'yup, muscle pull'. So, I dunno..it seems pretty ok right now, so I'm just going to live with it for a bit. If it's a muscle pull it'll eventually improve...right. How long is eventually..that's the question I guess.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holiday Cards

So I picked and ordered Holiday cards for us tonight. I am soooo on top of Christmas this year. Go me! :) Here's a preview of the card...and I should get a bonus $10 off my next order by showing this! Yay!
Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TEN. TEN!

This is what TEN looks like. She was born TEN years ago, at 6:08 am weighing in at 8lbs 6oz..see that. 8-06 at 6-08... She's smart and beautiful and caring and sensitive and loves soccer and her friends and school. She's fantastic. We'll have a small party tonight with just us because she has church group (Awanas) and then Saturday she's having a party with her friends followed by a party for family. It's gonna be super fun.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Family Photos

Sunday we headed out to Palisades State Park for our annual family photo session. It was preceded by the same whining and complaining as every other year. Then we said we could take the dogs with us...and they suddenly thought it was the best idea ever. We took some pretty great pictures, in spite of not being allowed to go near this particular tree with a giant knob on it - the 5yo wouldn't get near it. The girls posed on the railing in the park and we all sat in some leaves. I even walked in dog shit on my way out. Who does that..leaves their dog's poop in a state park for someone else to walk in, jeez. Anyway, we then headed over to Navajo park in town, to take some pictures of the girls on the playground equipment. Then we headed home and they jumped in the pile of leaves until the husband sucked 'em all up.













Thong vs Wedgie

Kids are so funny. My youngest is five and she's turned out to be really hilarious. She's super observant and smart which I think comes from trying to keep up with her almost-10-yo sister. So, Friday night I'm putting them to bed and she puts her clothes in the laundry and then comes over to me and says, 'gotta keep my wedgie' and pulls her panties into her butt, 'like yours she says'. I had to explain that my panties are made that way, and hers are different. It's not a wedgie - it's a thong. The husband was having to really contain himself in the hallway. She's hilarious - but if you laugh, she does not find that funny.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

5 Issues in this Election That Matter to Me

The Listable Life topic today at MomOf6 is....

5 Issues in this Election That Matter to Me

I'm just going to list them, I'm not going to elaborate because I'm not really interested in a big discussion, I just want to make the list, link up and move forward from the last post.  You know what, I'm not going to do that. I want to write more than I want to write, if that makes sense so I won't likely be able to stop myself. And I'm not very articulate when it comes to politics. I understand what I believe and what I want to see happen, but I'm terrible at backing myself up with facts and details. It's also so hard to know what the truths are, when politicians are known for lying, regularly, to everyone. Important topics to me are abortion, healthcare v. health insurance, the economy and jobs, immigration, and many other things.  So..how about another list...of..the things I plan to do this weekend! The oldest had pink eye last weekend, and was working on her now full blown cold...maybe this weekend will turn out just a bit better.

  1. Go to the self-pottery place, start on some grandparent Christmas gifts. Use my groupon.
  2. Get the husband to edit the family photos we took last Sunday, print a few for ourselves
  3. Win the contest for $50 in shutterfly money so I can print the photobook I made last week
  4. Look through and build/decide on Christmas cards with the new photos we've taken
  5. Hit the dollar store and elsewhere to work on goody bags for the oldest's birthday party favors
  6. Make some lists of gift ideas for Christmas for those we want to buy for
  7. Organize the master closet - rearrange my clothes so when I'm hunting it makes more sense
I think that's it for this weekend...of course, laundry and dishes and general house cleaning is in the list as well..but those things are always in the list.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stuck. Pitch Perfect.

Ugh. I am stuck. In a rut. Or something. I can't seem to get anything done around here. I am determined this weekend to get some things done. Saturday is the oldest's last soccer game (assuming  it doesn't get rained out..even then we might just call it done) and Sunday I'm hoping to get us out to a park for some family pictures. We also want to get pumpkins for carving and watch some football and have a barbeque with my family at my Dad's on Sunday. So it's...kind of a lot to cram in a weekend. But I'm still hopeful.
  1. get and send/deliver invitations for the 9yo's birthday
  2. brainstorm some party favor ideas for the girls that will come
  3. organize the game shelf that is moving to the basement
  4. organize the cabinet I gain by moving the games
  5. crop and organize the kid art I finally took photos of last weekend
  6. build a photo book for the oldest's 1st-3rd grade art
  7. do laundry
  8. reorganize the basement junk/storage room, it's become a mess since we closed the pool and the rubbermaid bin I have to hold the summer cover doesn't actually hold the summer cover...
  9. sell or donate or something my wedding dress
  10. figure out what we're doing with the photo printer that we never use
  11. figure out what I want to sell my hope chest for (craigslist...) and do something with the stuff inside it
  12. pay bills and figure out what's left for the non-necessities on our list
However, the very FIRST thing I'm doing this weekend is going to see Pitch Perfect with my sister-in-law and my dad's fiance. I CANNOT WAIT! Woo!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday!

She turned FIVE on Saturday. I now own a five year old.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

5 Reasons Kids Should Play Organized Sports

So the Listable Life...list..for today from momof6 is ...

5 Reasons You Think Kids Should Play Organized Sports

  1. Socialization - My kids are at home with me a lot. I work from home, so they've grown up just hanging out with me while I work, waiting for neighborhood friends to come home. Playing on a team of strangers helps to get them used to meeting new people and learning how to interact.
  2. Exercise - Duh. Running around chasing that soccer ball is great exercise. At the end of the game, the girls are soooo exhausted its hilarious. They no longer care about the game and just can't wait for the whistle that ends it. 
  3. Responsibility -Joining a team teaches my kids about obligations. Not in a drudgery sort of way, but in a 'hey, these people are my teammates and I owe them my best effort'. It's been really good to teach my oldest that she needs to try her best and work hard, for the other girls on her team.
  4. Parental Responsibility - Honestly, I'd rather not go anywhere or do anything that didn't suit me. Going out, visiting with strangers, watching our children play together - not my thing. I like to stay at home, organize a drawer, take care of things around here. I tolerate the kids playing with other neighbor kids, because it's my job, as a parent, to encourage them to branch out, to be friendly, to have fun. 
  5. Fun - sometimes it's just plain fun. The oldest has now decided she might also like to try basketball. So now I'll have to find a local basketball clinic type thing for her to try out. She likes shooting hoops on the playground - playing Knockout. I don't know what that means. She also likes shooting hoops after Awana on Wed. night at church, so I think that has piqued her interest.
  6.  
    Whew. Five things was a lot to come up with.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The wedding

My brother got married this weekend. We've been planning this...ok, they've been planning it for a year, but we've been planning how to get us there, what time to leave, are we staying over, etc etc, for a few months now. I've been obsessed with the logistics. The kid gets off the bus at 415...how fast can I get her in the car...can we pick up the husband instead of him coming home, shaving off more time so we can try hard to make it to the rehearsal before we've missed it entirely. We did and I think we got there just in time, the pastor was quite chatty so we missed most of that and were able to do an easy walkthrough of the ceremony. Then we headed off to dinner and the hotel.

The 4yo caught something at preschool. So she was..off...on Friday. Not hungry, but still wanted to play with the kids...so my goal was just to make sure she drank as much liquid as possible all weekend. Friday night she was up at midnight and 3am, dry heaving, sort of throwing up. I think it was our warning shot that she's caught something, but luckily she's sort of outgrown the actual throwing up part of catching a cold now. Which is awesome, that side effect is no fun at all. So Friday night, she and I slept together in the hotel bed, sitting up, propped by pillows and towels so she could breathe well enough and sleep well enough. I slept some. I got up at 645 to get ready to head to the salon..figuring I could lay the kid down and she'd keep sleeping. It was a rough night, so she needed a bit more sleep, I think she slept until close to 9 and I got back at 930 hair all perty. And then we began to get ready. The 9yo in her dress for passing out programs and bubbles, the rest of us in our regular clothes to head to the church for hair and dressing.

This story is too long. The wedding was beautiful,the bride was beautiful, everything went off without a hitch. They will have some beautiful pictures. And I had the most beautiful flower girl ever.

The hair, another bridesmaid did this, sooo pretty

So very ready for her duties

Friday, September 7, 2012

Goodbye Guilty Clutter

After about a week or so, the living room is finally cleared. As a reminder, here's the before.
Before

Too many THINGS everywhere. Floating shelves full of photos, bookshelves full of books and knick knacks. Mantle that just wants attractive.

So. I took down the floating shelves (and that shelf in between) and all the photos on them. I donated the frames to Goodwill and put the photos in a bin under my bed. Now I can see them anytime I want, and I know where they are when occasions come around that I might want to display them. In fact, I already have a plan for graduation (she's in 4th grade...I'm an early planner) and how to display the school photos. It's a great spot to just dump photos, of my girls, of family members, etc. I still HAVE them, but they aren't strewn all over the house in frames and on shelves turning them into clutter. In my hall between the front door and back door I have two magnetic decorative frames where I intend to put important pictures that I want to display. Pictures of my new niece, nephew and family photos that I can swap out. They are black frames with a dull silver metal magnetboard. Sort of like these. It works really well. I slimmed down the built in book cases and donated a lot of books to Goodwill. I still need to go through and donate the girls books, but that can wait a few weeks since they aren't in this room.

The big desk is still a problem, but compared to the photo above, the computer has slimmed and we have a flat monitor now. I also work at that desk all day with my laptop so I'm not sure what the long term solution will be. For now, it's ok, the desk is clean and I'll keep it that way. I also intend to swap out the small table (with that Partylight Infinite Reflections on it) with a medium sized curio cabinet. It should give a little height to that wall and it'll be a place for me to put my dad's china (he's keeping it until I'm ready) and the items I have from grandparents that have passed.

We had to patch and texture the wall spots where the floating shelves were. It turned out really well, but when I painted with my saved yellow paint..it didn't match. So now I need to paint the rest of the wall so at least the full wall matches. So this Sunday I'll probably paint the rest so that at least the color isn't so obvious. I think the sun faded the color, the paint is still good. And so. Here it is.

After

I tried to take the photo from the same general spot as the one above. I think it looks pretty great. I love my furniture in here, but it might be about time for an upgrade and perhaps a slightly smaller scale.  I also think I might take down and sell my Partylight pillar holders (I think they're called Sonesta, does anyone know?) because I think they just look like extra unbalanced clutter on the mantle. If I were to put anything on the mantle again it'd be a single medium height pillar candle holder probably. But right now my plan is to put nothing. I even threw away the unity candle from our wedding and I'm donating the holders to Goodwill (shockingly no one wants to buy 1995 precious moments unity candle holders).

My next cleanup is in the bottom left of the picture. You can see the dog cage there, our dogs are still stupid and eat walls and toys and whatnot, so we have to be able to cage them as necessary. I'd love to put that somewhere else. Behind that cage, under the end table, I've got a file box full of the kids last couple years of art projects and paperwork. I need to setup a lightbox and take photos of those things and create a photo book so I can throw out all the actual art. I think I'm going to try to paint the yellow wall AND take those photos this Sunday.  We'll see...

UPDATE:  I did paint the yellow wall, but I didn't take the kid art photos. I'm saving that for next weekend, we have a wedding this weekend and I just won't be up to it. Plus we're storing the in-laws appliances so my normal lightbox spot is taken. It will happen though!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 Projects I Need to Tackle Around the House

5 Projects I Need to Tackle Around the House ( Momof6 )

  1. Sort through the girls books. They have soooo many and I know some of them are baby books and the preschooler has outgrown them. It's time to sort and purge and donate (or save for my brand new niece) and clean up those shelves and drawers. We're big readers so I want to make them accessible and organized.
  2. The desk. This desk is too big and really sort of cramps the style of this living room. I think ideally I'd like to move this desk and computer down to the basement, setup a sort of office there, but I'm not sure how well that will work out. It would be nice to at least slim it down to a smaller desk maybe if moving it isn't an option. 
  3. In line with #1 - sort through the kids toys again. Some things we could save for my new niece, but the rest we've outgrown and should be donated. It'll clean up the toy room some and leave room for any new birthday and Christmas gifts that are bound to come along soon.
  4. I need to throw out or give away my wedding dress. It's taking up some good space in my closet, I never look at it, I don't care to keep it..it was 2nd hand to begin with. There might be some usable material there, so I think I may offer it for free on craigslist if anyone has a use for it. I feel like I should be sentimental about it, but I'm just not. I paid $250 at a local 'repeat' store, so it's not like I got a brand new 'THE DRESS' experience anyway. 
  5. I need to sell my hope chest. It was a Christmas present when I was 16 and I'm pretty sure it was my mother's idea but really, what sort of gift is that. Here's a wood box that won't fit anywhere for you to store things you don't even think are that important. Right now it is storing my wedding veil and bouquet and some stuffed bears I used to collect. It's also serving as the photo printer stand in our storage room. I could really use that space soooo much better.  
After all this wedding hullabaloo (my brother gets marred 9/15) I'm going to work on #4 and #5 first I think.

The alternative topic was 5 Things I Never Thought I’d Hear Myself Say As a Parent

I have to mention the one thing I never thought I'd have to say and the one thing that completely shocked me when I found myself saying it. 

Stop licking the cart.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The family room

I stumbled upon a new clutter/organizational blog last week. Clutterbug.me I found myself watching this video about guilty clutter. And as I was sitting and listening and watching her describe the guilt over her red sweaters...I felt a pang. Something clicked with me. I was sitting in a room full of guilty clutter.



I looked around and found that the room I spend all day in, the room we call the family room or the fireplace room, was full of things. Things. Books and photos and frames and candles and holders and even shelving that made the room seem full and small and super cluttered. Awhile back, when I was trying to decide what to put above the fireplace, I showed a picture to a friend and she suggested NOT doing anything busy because there was a lot going on in the room already. That was her nice way of saying 'HOLY CRAP you have a lot of junk in there'. She was being nice. I totally didn't see all the stuff. Until I watched that video. I went with a large clock above the mantle, not too busy but nice. However, the rest of the room was still full of junk. The picture below gives a good idea of what a mess it was. The stripes are no longer there, I painted the room yellow a few years ago, but wow, those stripes do NOT help the room at all. So imagine this, with yellow walls.

The baby is about 3 months old there (she's now almost 5y) the other is 5yo (almost 10 now) and obviously this was at Christmas time so there's a little bit extra Christmas decor involved. We've swapped out that blue couch for a red one, and the christmas tree spot holds a yellow chair now. Look at all that stuff. Floating shelves filled with frames, bookshelves full of books and avon steins and candles and clocks and wedding photos. So, when I moved the red and yellow furniture in here (we gave away the blue stuff) and painted the room yellow I took down the blue decor pieces. I still can't get over how much STUFF is in there.

So last weekend after I'd watched the video above, and read the post that went with it, and looked around my rooms, I realized that this room needed a fix-up and that large parts of it were here because of my guilt. I kept the photos because OMG you can't NOT show all your cute babies all the time, and HOW DARE you take down family photos even though you aren't speaking to some of the people in them and there have been new additions to the family since. Keep this stuff passed on from deceased family (I am keeping it, just with a better plan for display) and display it even though it doesn't GO with anything and you know the deceased would rather you were happy and comfortable in your home.

I have taken steps so far to clean it up and declutter and it's so awesome. I've donated a bunch of books to the library and I have a pile of frames and candle holders to donate to Goodwill. I took down the floating shelves and all the photos on them. I didn't throw them out, stop panicking, I am storing them in a plastic bin under my bed. So I can still see them and look at them and love them, but without SEEING them everywhere. I pared down the built-in bookshelves to hold books I acutally like or need to read and one photo of each child, one wedding photo and one family photo. I will swap the photos in those frames probably yearly (except our wedding photo of course, that one stays). Once I read the books I want to, I'll probably donate them also, and just keep books that look nice and that I want to keep (Harry Potter, etc) on the shelves. I'm a big fan of the Kindle now and of reading library books.

The room has transformed. I'm not ready to show you yet, I need to patch the holes from the floating shelves and touch up the paint and get the donations where they belong.  I have loved every minute of all of it. From deciding there isn't really any guilt with taking these things down and with donating things other people can use. I gave away the floating shelves to someone on Craigslist yesterday. I love it. I think my second career calling might have been a professional organizer. I think I might love that.

Next time, I'll have pictures of the room all de-cluttered and fixed up. We still have this big desk in the room that we'd like to scale down, but that might take awhile to work out, so for now we're working around it. The rest of the room however is really coming together.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Things I Didn’t Expect About Parenthood

Today's post over at Mom of 6 is about the unexpected parts of parenthood. So..here's my list.

5 Things I Didn’t Expect About Parenthood
  1. I didn't expect my entire body to be so in tune to my children. If they wake in the night (even now at ages 4 and 9) I am fully aware of it immediately. My body comes alive with the awareness, which is both amazing and kinda frustrating if they don't actually need me. Then I'm awake for nothing.
  2. I never expected to say "Please do not LICK the Target cart". Watching my daughter (5 then) run her tongue along the top edge of the Target cart from side to side was unbelievable. I couldn't believe she was doing it, I couldn't believe I had to tell her NOT to do it. I was stunned for a bit on that trip.
  3. I never expected to be annoyed with them. I knew I was annoyed with other people's children, but I assumed that was because they weren't my own beautiful offspring. Turns out, kids are just kind of annoying sometimes. You power through. 
  4. I am really really unprepared (and unwilling?) to teach them about things like monthly cycles (we have two girls) and sex and boys and body changes. I am about to prepare myself and inform my daughter about some things (she'll be 10 in November) but I am not looking forward to it.  I'm surprised by how much I do NOT want them to drive, or to date, or to go anywhere ever. I'm also surprised by my distrust of their friends, no matter how nice and friendly they actually are. I'm in overprotective mother bear mode all the time apparently.
  5. I am also surprised that while #4 is true...I am really really looking forward to next year, when the 4yo goes to Kindergarten and I will be home alone all day. I work from home and the concentration it takes to be productive while managing a child or two is exhausting. I look forward to accomplishing much without fetching eleventy billion cups of juice throughout the day.
The other topic could have been 5 Things I would buy for myself right NOW online if I had the money and I really really kind of wanted to do that too, so....
  1. curtains for the girls rooms, to block the heat and light - http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Eclipse-63-inch-Twill-Curtain-Panel-Pair/5550268/product.html
  2. a curio cabinet to hold my dad's china..which was my grandma's china -stacksandstacks.com
  3. some custom motorcycle seats for the husband and myself and maybe a windshield as well
  4. a tummy tuck? In theory I'd really love one, but in reality its too expensive and risky 
  5. does paying bills count? I'd like to pay off what we owe on the new furniture, the motorcycle and have enough left to get ahead on the house maybe. 
That list of things I'd buy is a little bit lame. I need to work on my want list. I'm a little to practical to make this list I guess.

Summertime

Summertime is over. School started Thursday (the 16th).

This post is going to have a lot of pictures. We tried to make sure our week off, our vacation at home, our staycation if you will was awesome. We didn't want to spend too much so we decided to stay home, but ended up spending plenty of money anyway at the fair and local shopping and mini golfing and bowling. It was a great week though.We started by trampolining at my brother's house. They're moving and not taking the trampoline with them, so we need to get some jump time in on it before its unavailable.

That's the 4yo jumping with her cousin
Next up, bowling! The 4yo had never been bowling and the 9yo had been with her school. So we took some free coupons we had from their reading program at the library and went and bowled just for the cost of shoe rental. That was pretty sweet.
Daddy helping the 4yo to bowl

The 9yo is clearly a pro

I can do it myself!
After bowling we saw the weather was going to get a bit hot. So we got up a little earlier the next morning and went mini golfing. It was perfect, hot enough we didn't want to be there long, but nice enough we could get through 18 mini holes. We even took a break in the middle to cool off in the a/c and take a potty break. I couldn't decide which photos to post..so I'm posting all the good ones. I did mention this was a photo heavy post, right?





Since it was so hot that day we came home, had some lunch and rested for a bit. Then we headed out to the pool. We're pretty lucky to be able to have a pool and the girls love it. They always find ways to make games and play act things out.




 We took a break for the go go go on Wednesday and then we headed out Thursday to do some horseback riding and visit the Iowa State Fair. The 9yo loved horseback riding and I hung with the 4yo while we waited, which was fun too. So much crazy good food and things to see at the fair and we found some pretty cool products to buy as well. I'd actually like to hunt down the nandymemoholder.com people so I can buy more. I also found sudsysoapcakes.com and haredo.com . We spent too much of course, but it was a lot of fun.


making spin art


the finished spin art

ice cream is so good
Friday we took it easy again and then the weekend was sort of full with adult plans. The husband took a long motorcycle ride with some friends (Poopy's Triangle) and then I had a bachelorette party and Sunday the husband golfed and I had a bridal shower. All in all it was an excellent vacation. 

I also thought it'd be easier this summer to exercise, and do things with the kids and do this and do that. I was wrong. Summer break made it harder to get all the things I wanted to do done..I'm too busy playing with my children in all the free time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Books

I love to read.  The girls love to read.  So every weekend we find our way to the library and get a new stack of books to read for the week. 

This Sunday while at the library we saw this one.  I hope we never need it.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Poopy's

Today we went to Poopy's.  Last night the in laws (they live in town now)  took the girls overnight.  So we got up and went for a motorcycle ride.  It's about 95 miles total and I learned a lot of things along the way.

There are too many small towns.

Iowa has an island town.  Sabula,  look it up.

My butt has a 35 mile limit before needing a break from the bike.

It's strange to be flying along the highway and not hold on to anything.  When I realize that I grab the strap in front of me.

The sissy bar is awesome.

Poopy's is awesome.  Cool place and good food,  outdoor eating and live music.

I bought a tank top and poopys panties.  Get it,  poopy panties,  ha!  Husband got a tshirt.



Poopy's parking lot. Front and back filled with bikes.


Me in my motorcycle gear.


The Hog for lunch

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fourth Grade

I have another post about our vacation in the works with a ton of pictures etc, but I just can't get to it yet. So instead, today is the first day of school for our district. I now have a fourth grader. FOURTH GRADE!

So big and smart and beautiful

Friday, July 27, 2012

I am a grown up with grown up furniture.

The furniture has arrived!

So, it was initially supposed to deliver July 11th I guess, but I was not aware of that. I find that a lot of the time if you don't call and ask, sometimes things just show up, or don't. In this case, they called to tell me the delivery date changed..even though I never had a date to start. Anyway. The new delivery date was July 25th. My birthday! Hooray! What's better than brand new furniture on your birthday. Nothing. Shhhh Nothing! They called to schedule and set it for between 745 and 945 in the morning. I went upstairs to get ready at 730 thinking I had 15 minutes (after working for about 45 minutes) and heard a truck pull up. Well. I guess I'll get furniture in my pajamas, smelling like waffles and NOT like toothpaste. Oh well. The kids were still asleep too, which was fine. I cleared a path and held the doors as necessary. After putting all our things away. This is what we have.

From the doorway


It is fantastic. We LOVE it.

From the door, straight in.
From my side of the bed, at the beautiful dresser and mirror
From the husband's side




My side of the bed

My favorite thing is my new nightstand. We've never had room for both of us to have a real nightstand until we moved into this house. Ten years ago. I've been using a homemade purple shelf thing for the last 16 years. It did the job, but wasn't pretty and didn't hold very much. The new nightstands - we each get our own - are beautiful, tall and fantastic.

My nightstand. My very own.
I love it so very much. This is my favorite part of it. I ordered some drawer organizers from Amazon and can't wait to find all the uses for them, in these drawers and all over my house.
My top drawer with a new organizer for my nail polishes.
We love it. We're grown ups. Adults with real furniture. The bed is super tall now also, which is both odd and awesome. I love a tall bed I guess. I've decided that if and when I find a beautiful comforter that I love as much as our old purple one, I'll buy it and go back to purple accents for this room. For now the brown and cream works really well. Now I need to decide on artwork and wall decor. I'm thinking three photos above the bed maybe, one of each kid and one of us (the husband and me). I'm going to take my time, so I get it right.