Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm on a kick.

I'm on this organizing purging cleaning rearranging kick. I've suddenly become obsessive about throwing out things we never use, donating things we never wear or use and organizing the things we do use and need. I think part of the reason is the new bedroom furniture that we have coming in a couple months. I need my clothes to be sorted out so that I can fit them into the new smaller dresser (that I'll share with the husband) and I also need to be able to photograph and try to sell the current chests we use. I want to make the whole process easier and smooth for everyone. Well, mostly for me.

So. The chests of drawers we have are giant. 4 deep drawers and then 2 smaller drawers. They sort of take over the room with the way we've placed them. The new dresser will replace both of these, with a really nice mirror on top. The new dresser is taller than standard and longer, so we aren't losing that much space really and it really is time for us to pare down our clothes. The husband and his t-shirts...wow.
The CHESTS - the piles at the bottom are donation and trash piles.
I cannot wait to see how awesome the dresser will look there - without overpowering the entire room and seeming to block the walk way. It doesn't really, but it does feel like it. These chest were a good deal at K's Merchandise, when it still existed and it was a huge upgrade from the furniture that we'd been using. It was my dresser/chest from when I was a kid, I brought it with me when we got married. When we switched to this..it was time to switch and these were a great, affordable choice. But now. They gots to go.

So, I cleaned out the girls' drawers first, taking out and sniffling over the 2T and 3T stuff that no longer fits the 4yo. And moving the stuff that's too small for the 9yo into bins for the 4yo to wear later. Then I got out the bins of 4/5T stuff I'd saved from the 9yo and put them into the little one's drawers. She could not be more pleased about all the dresses I found. I am not pleased at all. It can't be possible that she's old enough to wear these dresses that were so adorable on my...hey, when did the 9yo outgrow all these things, she can't possibly be this old. Gah. They love it. I do not. But we're all clothed, so that's what matters. Here are the piles.
The donation pile.
 I made a list and photographed everything I intended to donate. I like to have photos because we take the donations as a deduction on taxes and this time the piles were huge. So I also made a list of sizes/types/brands. I filled the front and back of a lined piece of paper plus a list of kid clothes that I grouped by type instead of noting all the various brands etc. That is quite a list. I might actually have to use It's Deductible this year to figure that out.

The trash pile. Stained, missing buttons/zip, things no one should wear again ever.
The trash pile is smaller, but there were a lot of things I had been hanging onto for sentimental reasons. Sentiment is no reason to clog a closet or drawer. So my 1994 high school colorguard sweatshirt went, along with my 1994 poms sweatshirt and a pile of other t-shirts neither of us is ever going to wear. Don't fret - I kept a few shirts that I will wear in a pinch or to paint :)

Tupperware cabinet - BEFORE
Next up - the KITCHEN! My tupperware cabinet was bugging me. The 4yo likes to cook with those from time to time and she puts things back, but its so clogged in there, it was really starting to get on my nerves. I had these tiny 1" x 1" rubbermaid containers that couldn't hold anything more than dressing...so I decided it was time to purge. Success! Even the 4yo is pleased that she can more easily cook with what's left behind.
Tupperware cabinet - AFTER

It's a little difficult to tell that it's cleaner, but I moved the water bottles to the top right, where they'll never get used, threw out a pile of unused containers, put the lids on the container it belongs with, and laid it out in a way that I think will allow us to get to the most used items first.  Next up - utensil drawers!
Main cooking utensil drawer - BEFORE

Extra utensil drawer - BEFORE
I KNEW we had too many, but I could never find a minute or motivation to go through it. Apparently I found it. We had duplicates of so many things, and some pieces were cracked or chipping - definitely something I want near my food. So I sat down with a towel, sorted out both drawers and then lined them with that rubbery mat stuff so things wouldn't just fly around in the drawers.
Main utensils - AFTER

Extra utensils - AFTER
I'm sure we still have a few too many things in both drawers but it's all much more visible now and easier to see, grab and use. You should have heard the husband sometimes, trying to get a utensil  out of the main drawer. Grumbling because it was stuck on some other utensil or hung up on the drawer itself. Funny for me, cranky for him :) That shouldn't be as much of a problem now.

Now..I still have one problem cabinet. Well, I'm sure all my cabinets could use some attention, but for the most part, we're cleaned and organized. This last one..I just don't know what to do. I feel like I should extend the shelf in it somehow..but I'm not sure how..and I think maybe there's a better way to organize pots and pans (and a few bowls I should probably move) and I just haven't discovered it yet.
Pot and Pan madness
See, it's just a disorganized pile. I don't even bother trying anymore. Sometimes I throw a pot in after its clean and close the door really fast so I don't have to see it and so nothing falls out. Ha. What should I do with this cabinet?

And now I'm off, to shower and get dressed and get up the 4yo. I'm not working today because it's the 9yo's last day of third grade so I'm taking her to lunch wherever she'd like to go (within reason of course). And then their summer begins. Not a great day for it - it's raining and cold today. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I promise

There is a post coming. I just keep running out of time to do it. I have taken a ton of pictures of some of the things I've been cleaning and organizing around the house. I'm sure it's much more exciting for me than it might be for you but I intend to post about it soon. I had hoped to post my progress on the list I'd made of things to do around the house...but I got distracted by all kinds of things. 

A sort of partial list of what I got through:
- clean out drawers, mine, husbands and both girls
- photograph stuff to be donated (half done)
- touch up ceiling paint in whole house
- look for large red vase for front yard ( no purchase yet, i hope soon)
- power wash house (husband did this)
- swim (we swam on Sunday, super hot outside, pool a nice 83 degrees)
- shop for new sandals for girls (done)
- hang out with my dad, his girlfriend with her kids for Memorial Day
- new swimsuits for the girls
- kitchen drawer and cabinet organization (about half done)

Things still to do:
- figure out solution for pots/pans cabinet
- pick/buy/plant big red vase for front yard (go to Earl May)
- paint exterior front door trim (white)
- make chore charts
- spray yard for bugs (husband)
- finish photos of donation and take to Goodwill
- order piggy bank for friends adopting
- clean master bedroom headboard/footboard, prep for sale
- get new cfl lightbulbs for girls fans
- balance 9yo ceiling fan (it shimmies so much, and makes so much noise, she refuses to use it)
- clean/organize under sink
- take down master bedroom art
- fill holes in master BR walls from art
- get new desk rubber mat (this plastic thing is crap and lasts all of 2 seconds)
- dust the house (this might never get done)
- research new bedroom sheers
- research blackout curtains for girls rooms (can ivory/white curtains really be blackout?)
- get gate kit for pool deck (husband)

GAH. That's a lot more TO DO than I got done. That's a little discouraging. Oh well, some of the things I got done were pretty satisfying, and going shopping with the 9yo, just she and I, was pretty great on Sunday. Anyway...more to come.

If you're bored, while waiting for my next awesome post, read my friends as they travel in S.Korea and pick up their son. It's been a long road and I am so very excited that it's finally coming to a point where they have him with them. Read about it here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blessed

So today is a great day. Other than the part where I'm working of course. No one wants to work, but I don't hate my work, so it's all good.

Two days ago we got emails that our dear friends are finally flying to S. Korea to pickup their adopted son. It's been over a year in the process, and he'll be two in September. It is so exciting that they can finally finish this step of the process and focus on being parents (before they do it again of course). I need to order a piggy bank for him and next Friday we'll meet them at the airport to welcome them home and snap some photos so they can remember (the husband will be the photog, mine are always blurry). Then they'll have the summer (she's a teacher with the summer off) to get him used to living here and used to his new family. Pray for them, it's bound to be a difficult transition for all of them.

Last night we talked to the in-laws as well. They've been working on selling their house and finding a place in town near us. It's been a little slow going, but it seems like in the last week things fell into place. The people that made a not great offer on their house have brought their offer up and proven financials that they can buy their house. So that's considered a sale. They also wanted to move up the closing date to July1 so it moves everything along a bit faster. Luckily the in-laws have a 36 foot really nice RV that they spend most of their summer in anyway, so this all works out pretty well. They'll get their new house building shortly on a lot very near to us (and to a lot of other places here in town, which is excellent) and they'll head down to Georgia in July after they close on their house sale to see the sister-in-law and welcome the new baby. Father-in-law also applied for a bus driver job at Sophie's school campus and got a call less than an hour later to come interview. They're also interested in mother-in-law for a bus aide position. So they're both coming next week to interview. All of this is such excellent news. I'm so very very excited.

Also, it's Friday!

And a long weekend - yay for Memorial Day!

And payday for the husband!

And the pool is nearly clean enough to swim in! in time for the holiday weekend!

And Sophia is almost done with 3rd grade. 3RD GRADE! She'll be a 4th grader..and TEN years old this fall. GAH! Yay for how wonderful she is..but GAH stop growing already!

And I have this awesome list of things I plan to organize and clean and donate this weekend and woooohoo I love it!

God is good. No one else can take credit for all these good things happening in our lives. It's a good day.

I hope everyone's day is great as well!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lucky Woman

Today is our sixteenth wedding anniversary. We've been married SIXTEEN years. And if you count the four years of dating through high school and a year of college, we've been together TWENTY years. That's kind of a lot of years. He asked me to 'go out' with him in early May of our Sophomore year in a field that doesn't exist anymore. It's covered in houses now. I said yes and that was it I guess. We were pretty much inseparable after that, and we still are.

In August of 1995 we went to a local park where he proposed and then we high tailed it out of there because there were some shady people hanging around. We got married in May, 1996 on the single sunny day that whole month. It was hot and sticky and my wedding dress covered my whole body. He wore a white tux. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were our siblings and friends, as young or younger than we were.  It was a great day and we left the next day for Orlando, FL for our honeymoon. Turns out its hard to rent a car at age 20, so we borrowed his parents, and we were lucky enough to be able to get a hotel room. We sat in the sun too long, swam, enjoyed Disney and had a great time. That's pretty much been our life since then. We make plans, we save up or take steps to make that plan happen, and we achieve what we shoot for. We've been to Aruba, Cancun (free trip that I won through work, woo), and Maui. I'd still like to get to Greece and France as well as Bora Bora. Someday, we will.

We enjoy each other. We believe the same things and we find the same things hilarious. We are, for lack of a better phrase, a match made in heaven. Even though we were matched at what some might consider too young, I believe God sent us to each other. Sixteen years later we have two wonderful daughters and we support each other in everything. We keep each other sane, balance the craziness of parenthood and careers with love and support that we each require to get through our lives together.

He sent me the flowers in the picture today. With a beautiful note that I'm keeping to myself. And I couldn't agree more, there is no one that would be a better husband to me or a better father to our children than him. Happy 16th anniversary and I'm certain there's many many more to come.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gifts and Colds

So I took the husband and 4yo to the doctor this morning. He's started coughing and it's starting to sound unpleasant and she's had a cold for going on a month now. I think it's actually three colds in a row, but her little body just can't keep up with it. So he's got meds x 2 now, and she's got meds as well. She's got swollen tonsils and congestion and sniffles and it's a wonder really that she's as pleasant as she is. She hasn't complained much and she's been stuffed up and snoring for a month now. She's tough I guess.

For Mother's Day we headed to see the in-laws. I had an ulterior motive though, I got a flyer from a furniture store near the in-laws to come in, scan this barcode and win savings! 5%, 10% 40% off or a $25,000 shopping spree. Wow that would have been nice. I didn't win, but we did get 10% off. We've wanted new bedroom furniture for awhile now. Our headboard/footboard is from Montgomery Wards, we got it on clearance because it was discontinued. We got a great deal on it...15 years ago. The two chests of drawers we have are giant and while they do the job, they make the room feel like its full of furniture. The husband has a nightstand but I only have a home made (well made) wooden stand. It has a top and a shelf. It works, but not very well. He has the drawers with stuff, and I have an open shelf that doesn't hold much. Also, none of it really matches the direction we've gone with the room. The new bathroom took us in a brown/cream direction. The walls are cream and I've upgraded the comforter and curtains to brown (cream flowers on the bed as well) but the rest of the furniture and artwork just doesn't match any more. So...we bought new bedroom furniture on Saturday. It's my mother's day, anniversary, birthday gifts all rolled into one. I'll take it, it's beautiful stuff. Because of the solution we're going with, we have to clean out our drawers and unworn clothes etc to make this solution work. I am so very excited I cannot even explain.

We're swapping the two chests, which each have 4 decent sized drawers, plus 2 smaller drawers for a single dresser, 70" with 6 decent drawers plus 2 slightly smaller drawers. It also comes with a mirror. We're also  getting two matching nightstands. I. Cannot. Wait.

I have to wait ten weeks. TEN WEEKS. 10. Ten. Gah!

I 'm glad to have the cleanout and organizational things to do in the meantime. And it was a bit of a trick to get it all ordered correctly, so I hope it shows up with the correct number of drawers AND the right finish.

So..I'm going to turn this into a posting opportunity and blog about the changes I make in the room as I go. I'll take some before pictures soon and then post as I make progress removing the artwork from the walls and patching and hopefully selecting new artwork from somewhere. I'm excited about all of it. Yay for grown up furniture!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day

I'm not a fan of this "holiday". For many reasons.

1 - flowers die, candy gets eaten and lives on my butt, jewelry either gets lost or I just can't wear that much all at once, and the kid gifts are nice, but...you know.

2 - my mother and I do not speak. We haven't spoken out loud for probably ten years. I haven't seen her since 1998. There's lots of story to that, but it's lame and exhausting and when I think or talk about it I work myself up into angry SMASHY moods so I try not to do that.

Mother's Day on the calendar makes it hard to ignore all of that. This year we're going to the in-laws for the weekend, to do some anniversary/mother's day furniture shopping. So that should be fun, plus we'll spend some time on Sunday with the husband's mom, which is nice for her and all of us.  I love them dearly and when my own mother bailed, mother-in-law stepped in as needed. We were newlyweds at the time and she's grown into really being my mother since then. Biology clearly isn't as important sometimes.

Anyway...I could do without the whole Mother's day stuff. It's really not any different than any other day. For those of us that do most of the mother-y things, we still have to because the littles aren't used to anyone else doing it. So while a 'day off' would be cool and nice, I'll take what I can get with the help of my in-laws and husband.  It'll be a nice weekend. If we can all get rid of these damn colds.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Motivation

I can fully understand why bloggers I follow and really like (felt weird to say love here) don't always post every day. It takes a lot of work and coordination and brain power to post something that anyone wants to read every day. So, I will no longer mutter and complain if a blogger doesn't delight me with literary magic every single day. I certainly can't do it and I am no wordsmith, so it's rude and ridiculous of me to expect it of others. I am going to try to post as regularly as I can. It won't be daily, but maybe I can commit to weekly, without making any promises. I'm just going to try to remember the things I find important and write something about those things when I can.

I need motivation. Motivation to exercise, motivation to NOT eat the things I know I shouldn't. I did Nutrisystem a couple times in the past. Both times after I had a baby and couldn't drop the last few..ok 15 pounds. It worked really really well, but it's just too expensive to keep doing. I was able to do it, lose some weight, and then track my calories myself and keep up with it. But I lost interest at some point, I think running my last 5k last fall somehow gave me permission to give up all of it. I've still been using the treadmill over the winter, five days a week if I am able, but I know I'm overeating again. I don't know how to stop it. I intend to run the 5k on the Fourth of July again, the same race I started with last year. I would LOVE to trim my time, but last year my times got worse as I went on, so I don't know how to do that. I need to finish up the C25K program I restarted (at week 4) so that I'm ready, and I plan to start running outside in June to prepare. I am going to get back to that again tonight, as well as running outside to get used to that again. I wish I had the motivation and means to just fix all of this for myself.

Here's what I kind of need to figure out...
- what to eat the day before
- music to listen to as I run, it gets old fast, got suggestions?
- motivation to just keep going, it's not that far, I can do this
- motivation to STOP eating ALL THE THINGS!

What I really need is a personal trainer, and a personal chef. Some celebrity should gift those to me for a year or something.. Tori Spelling maybe...although I don't know that she can afford it..maybe J. Lo. She looks amazing after twins, I have to assume she had help getting back to that. I want whoever helped her do that. I don't want her body - I know that's unreasonable...but I could do better with what God's given me.

Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May flowers

Did you see that? How I posted every day except 2 in April, like I said I would for NaBloPoMo? And then May 1 comes and BAM, I'm over it. It turns out, it's alot harder to regularly post than anyone thinks. Stuff gets in the way, work gets in the way, kid puke gets in the way. LIFE gets in the way. I missed two days, one because I completely spaced it off, and the second because I was in tiny town IL and unable to get a good enough signal to post anything.

Besides completing NaBloPoMo April 2012, I also survived Puke-a-palooza, threw a wonderful baby shower for my super sister-in-law and broke the R key on this laptop. I have ordered a new keyboard - THANK GOD for I CANNOT TYPE WITHOUT R! The husband also has golfed a ton already this year making his golf pass for the city courses super duper worth it this year.

We'll also be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary this year. I don't know what 16 is..paper? plastic? I have no idea and I'm too lazy right now to look it up. We're going shopping for bedroom furniture I think. We might even buy some :) Those of you that know me, know that it'll take me a year to choose and decide and pull the trigger to actually buy something. What can I say, I'm frugal, practical and I like not owing anyone anything (besides car/house, I don't count those).

I don't know what else May has in store, but school ends May 31, and preschool ends May 24th and then we're into summer and chores and hopefully tons of swimming.