Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Babe's Haircut

Babe has been scared to get her haircut for years.  We've managed a trim maybe twice and it involved her being surly and her hair being crooked.  Granted, her hair has been so long most people might not have noticed.  I forgot to take 'before' pictures, so I pulled one from earlier this year.

That should give a feel for it.  I'd say when we cut it her hair was just above the small of her back; below her waist but above her hips I guess.
While she wasn't always scared of getting it cut she certainly never liked the idea.  Lately she had been continually informing us of how she was growing her hair out to be long like Rapunzel's (and we had no luck pointing out that Rapunzel's hair get's cut at the end of the movie).  But last week I took her to watch me get my hair cut.  She thought the girl time was fun and I think it helped that she already knew the stylist (Robin for those who know her-if not I'd gladly send you her way!).  Not long into my cut Analee announced that she wanted to get her hair cut!  We had to explain to her that we'd need to make an appointment (unless we wanted to sit through some other cuts, which I didn't want to do).  At this point she was very clear that she wanted a trim-as small a trim as possible.  But I was willing to take it:)
Over the next few days we would look up hairstyles online and I was shocked to discover that, with amazing consistency, Babe was choosing pixie cuts.  And not just any pixie cuts but very, very short ones.  While it took me a little getting used to I don't see any reason why she shouldn't get her hair cut however she wants.  If the only reason stopping it would be that I like her hair long, well, I think that's a pretty lame reason.  So we tried to make it clear that once her hair was cut it would stay short for a long time and that it would be too short to do pony tails or braids and so on. 

And so-Onto The Salon!

getting her hair washed

Robin "are you sure?"  Babe "yep!"

Robin asked Babe if she could cut it a little longer and then see if Babe liked it, Analee agreed. 

 Babe LOVED it!  After plenty of giggles Babe got all sorts of talkative.  I am amazed at the variety of topics she managed to cover.

She liked the blow dryer but thought it felt weird to have her hair in her face-which makes me laugh b/c with long hair her hair was always in her face.

Thanks Robin!  And check out those bangs!
 When we got home dad had her pose for 'after' pictures.  Note both the lollipop she got for being so good (Drake has one too, the ladies at the salon let Babe take extras for her brothers).  But my favorite is her outfit.  At first I thought I should try to explain how opinionated Babe can be, but then I realized these pictures would include her fabulous fashion sense and figured I didn't need to explain much:).
I think the cut is seriously cute.  I still think I'm going to see those long locks when I turn around, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.  I am so grateful for Robin, it's cute and low maintenance and we can get those bangs trimmed anytime we need for free! 
Now, just for fun you have to scroll up to that top picture-I keep doing it and it blows me away!  Granted I'm the mom and would probably do that if it had just been a trim, but still.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Like at the Doctors

I've been avoiding posting for the last week...or two.

I've been feeling pretty sheepish.

I guess I better just come out and say it.

I didn't finish my 40 bags in 40 days.


Last I posted about it I admitted to not completing the first half.  Ouch.
But I guess I've learned a few things.

One-if I have to take on a big challenge I should build in break time so as not to create instant fail.   One bad day and suddenly the whole thing is thrown off.  Not the brightest idea for someone like me.

and Two-Brian Regan was (almost) right.
Are you familiar with Brian Regan?  He's a great (clean!) comedian.  He has a bit about how going to the doctor's is the only time as an adult you feel like a kid again.  I agree-but I have to add in "when you blog about how you'll do something and then don't and botch it and have to fess up".

In the end I'm glad I did it.  I did get lots of stuff sifted through and started really questioning why I feel the need to hang on to so much stuff.  Plus, I'm brainstorming how to make it a bit more practical (you know, for those of us who aren't Martha Stewart) so I can keep working in that direction.

So instead of filling my blog with excuses about why I didn't finish (since that won't do anyone any good) I'll just leave you with Brian Regan!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More Drawers

Okay, so days 19 and 20 were supposed to be Ducky's closet and bedroom...but I quickly realized that I wasn't going to be able to attack those on days John was gone.  Usually, if I need the kids out of the way or it's going to take a while I do it after the three sweet ones go to bed. 
But guess what?
Ducky's closet is IN his bedroom...crazy, huh?
NO way I was going to try to go in his room after he fell asleep.  Might work with some kids, even to an extent with my older two, but not Ducky.

My solution:

Day 19-my bathroom drawers
Day 20-Ducky's closet
Day 21-Babe and Bub's closet
Day 22-Ducky's room

Both closets have been torn through (aka-pulled out too small clothes and give away clothes) and all the clothes are back IN the closet, but not all nicely arranged.  Tomorrow before I hit Ducky's room I'll put piles in the right places and take pictures. 

BUT-this post is really supposed to be about the bathroom drawers.
Now, I feel a little bad b/c right now there is not a single thing in the drawers that belongs to John.  Well, there are the razor blades-but seeing as I use his razor (dude-it totally works better than my old 'girl' ones did), I figure that doesn't really count.
Maybe one day I'll figure out how to give him a little more space.
But for today, let's take a look at my drawers.

A total MESS.
In my traditional form I threw everything into a box, carried it downstairs and sorted through it while John and I pulled up Netflix.  Current fascination: Battlestar Galactica.  Way more interesting than I anticipated.  We even postponed starting the new season of NCIS because we really wanted to see the next Battlestar episode.  For us, that's crazy talk.
I tossed a grocery bag full of stuff and implemented 2 things.
1. make-up bags.  I know, I know.  Who would have though you could put make up in make-up bags, right?  This kid is breaking some new ground.
2. jewelry boxes.  I can't tell you how addicting hot gluing these jewelry boxes together is!  I never knew how fun and satisfying hot glue is:)  In fact, I have a confession.  I don't own a glue gun.
::waits for crafters everywhere to mod podge and ribbon me::
I seriously borrowed one from a friend...and haven't gotten it back to her.  ::ouch::
So sorry-and if you're reading this, TB, I promise I'll get it back to you...and don't worry, I bought you more glue sticks:)
But check out my drawers now.

All the black is make-up bags.  And see all those little lotion bottles?  Those are being organized by the jewelry box sleeves.  I'm not sure if that makes sense.  But I guess I'll add that to the list of things I should talk about in another post-How to re-purpose your Fabulous Lia Sophia jewelry boxes.  Seriously.  I'm in love.
And, admittedly I do feel a little silly.  See that bag behind the cotton balls and toilet paper?  Those are hair curlers (you know, the kind you put in while you're hair is wet).  I haven't used them in quite a while but I'm just not sure I can let them go.  I mean, I loved using them.  But, at the same time, I haven't in probably years.  I don't spend much time on my hair now at all.  Maybe it's the memories (thinking that maybe I'll actually spend time on my hair again), maybe it's because Babe is old enough that she cares what her hair looks like (and maybe she'll want to use them-even though she's 4).  I don't know. 
What are your thoughts?  Are they worth hanging on to?  Are they just taken up physical and emotional space needlessly?
In the end my drawers are much better off.
But I'm serious about those curlers-let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm Back!

Last week was even crazier than I thought it would be.
Between 6pm on Friday and 6pm on Saturday I was home for a grand total of 45 minutes.  Although I did meet up with my family out of the house for about an hour in there. 
It was intense.
And I dropped the ball on the 40 days.
And now I'm playing catch up.
While it's not the point I was trying to make to myself (about being consistent) it's a useful one none-the-less.  If I hadn't been blogging about this (even though I don't know who might be reading this) I think I would have quit.  I would have determined this an exercize only for more organized people, people without little kids, people who were anything but what I am. 
But I can't improve if I'm not willing to change myself, right?
Even once I stood back up I put off writing this post.  I thought I could once I had completely caught up.  But eventually I realized that I couldn't wait until 'everything was perfect'.  
So it's not an A+ by any stretch, but here's what I've got.

Day 10: office shelves - I picked one shelf/bookcase, my lia sophia stuff, and went through it.  Most of the shelf just needed tidying up.  What I really went through was my files.  I was holding on to a lot of records that I didn't need.  So I let them go. Yay!  Point for clean me.

Day 11: closet, my clothes-went through them and filled at least half a garbage bag.  The pack rat side put a few things in my sewing box (read: large skirts and such that screamed "but I'm a large piece of fabric, upcycle!").  Point for the pack rat.

Day 12: closet, my shoes-pseudo-fail. I started through them but didn't finish.  Then I left the bag of shoes out and the kids so kindly put all the shoes back.  Fail.

Day 13: John's side of the closet-I shouldn't have included John without letting him know (sorry!), but he was so sweet.  I pulled a few piles out of the closet and he went through them, but we certainly didn't get to everything.  All the time I spent away this week meant time he had the kids and couldn't really work on his lesson plans.  So it's a meh on this one.

Day 14: dresser drawers-kinda weird here. I hardly use the dresser.  Right now it's strictly for intimates, and it seems I don't 'pack rat' there.  So I'm not sure how this one ranks.

Day 15: toy bags-failed.  I haven't touched them.

Day 16: my bookshelf-I read at night.  And my little bookshelf has gotten overrun.  And I went at it.  And I even have a picture!  Not the greatest, but this is what I pulled from my shelf.

3 boxes and a trash bag.  All on one little shelf.  I didn't get a shot of the shelf before or after.  But I ended up with the smallest of the boxes to take back to my little shelf.  Point to the clean me!

Days 17 and 18: entertainment center tops and inside.  This was yesterday and today.  And it didn't happen.

The biggest question I had to ask was 'Do I keep playing catch up or do I start on today and pick up the lost days as I go?'.
I've decided to start on today.
I can't change yesterday and I can't do a whole lot of good fussing about it. 
So I'm going to change today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hi guys-
sorry I didn't post last night...and I'm not exactly posting tonight-just a quickie.  I promise I'm doing my 40 bags!  This week is just getting a bit crazy-so the posting of said bags might start to clump.  I usually do the majority of my 40 bags (cleaning and posting) in the evenings.  I had a meeting tonight, and will be busy Thursday night, Friday night and all day Saturday (minus an hour here or there).
While this week is going to get super crazy I'm kinda excited for it.  Making it through this week without cheating (aka skipping or combining days) then it means I can really do this!  Because, for me, this expedition isn't just about cleaning out my house, it's also about becoming consistent.  Consistency (especially when it comes to housekeeping) is a challenge for me.  For years I've told myself that I'm just not good at it, not capable of it, not whatever.  If I can do this then I can prove to myself that I can.  Whatever it is, I can.

So this week will be crazy,

but I'm excited!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pack Rat Papers

Yesterday I rolled up my sleeves and went after our office desk.  I learned two things.

1. I should have set aside a week for that desk.
2. Having a 'no kid' room is asking for massive clutter.

No joke.  That office has become the 'it needs to be out of the way/hide it from the kids/I can't loose this/I have no clue where to put this' room.  It's ridiculous.  I would show you a picture but I'm a little embarrassed.  Maybe I'll take one now and when the room gets together I'll show the before and after shots.
The first thing I tackled was this:

I guess I started there for two reasons-because it's been on the office chair (the only office chair) for more than a few weeks and, well, it was on top of the massive office mess.

Perhaps I should explain what this box is.  When I was in Nebraska (in July) my mom said I could go through it and pick out what I wanted before she tossed it.  It's mostly filled with family home evening stuff, read: lessons/activities for kids to teach them about faith, sharing and all that good stuff.  Now I'm a pack rat so the idea of tossing all this potentially fabulous stuff just killed me.  Never the less, I've been trying to learn to let go-so I decided just to skim through the box. 
While in Nebraska I started in and found a few cool things.

Really cool things.

Top two favorite finds:
A letter from my dad to my mom from before I was born.
A letter from my aunt (who died while I was in high school) to my mom.

My skimming stopped there. 
No way could I bear to miss any other gems like that.
But there was also no way I'd get through it all while in Nebraska.  So my sweet, loving, understanding and patient husband piled this box into the back of our minivan (frankly risking an enormous mess every time we opened the trunk) so I could finish sifting through it.
And then I let it sit untouched for weeks . . . fine, months.
But yesterday I finally pulled it out.

An empty box (Yay!) and four piles.  Toss (the big one!), keep, read closer and send to mom.
Then I went through my piles again.
I read through my 'read closer' pile and pulled out the stuff I really wanted and then sat down again with my keep file.  I pulled a Clean Sweep-ever seen that show?  It's on TLC.  They empty out a house (well, I think it's actually 2 or 3 rooms) onto tarps labeled 'Keep', 'Toss' and 'Sell' (for a yard sale they do at the end of the show).  When they get everything out they dump the toss pile and move the keep sign to the empty tarp and start all over again.  So I did, too. 
Maybe that doesn't sound so special to most people, but to a pack rat that's a pretty big deal. 
Perhaps I'll dive into my pack rat psychology theories sometime, but for now just trust me.

And I'm quite proud of myself.  Out of all those papers I've been hanging on to I've left myself with this:

On the left is my keep pile and on the right is stuff to send back to my mom.  Nothing as special as that first time, but a few letters, pictures and some notes us kids wrote to her when we were little.  Don't know if she'll want to keep them but I thought it would be a nice pick me up to read how much your kids adore you:)

Now, I wish this was the end-but not quite.
The last three nights my 20 month old has decided to wake up at 11pm and stay up until about 2:30.  While he was up I wasn't able to do much of anything with my papers and by 2:30 I was wasted . . . and left them on the floor.
Thankfully my keep and mom piles were separated enough that they didn't mix, but this is what my toss pile looks like right now.

This mess is about 6 1/2 feet by 4ish feet (thank you John for laying on the floor so I could better guestimate!).
"But it's Sunday night" you may be thinking.
Well, I'm a huge fan of Sunday being a "day of rest".  Perhaps you think I've lost it, or have completely missed the point.  But for today I was happy to let my kids rifle through the pictures (and there are plenty of cute, wholesome pictures in there). 
Tomorrow I'll throw it all in the box and ask John to carry it out to the recycling for me (it's heavy, I swear!).  Then attack the shelves in the office. 
Okay, fine, I'll be honest with myself.  There are four bookshelves in the office.  I'm not going to get to all of them. 
But I am going to start.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ye Olde Spice Rack

Alright, I don't have a spice rack.  Although I found I do have way too many spice bottles (canisters? jars?).  First thing I decided to get rid of was this:

While I rather like it-I love wood, it's really nice having my wooden spoons right there and it spins (John's favorite feature) I've decided it's time to let go.  I'm not very good at keeping things organized and having spices in multiple places really isn't going to help me much.  It's a shame, especially as it was a wedding gift (ouch).
I pulled out all my spices and found I have a number of duplicates.  With some mixing I got down to only two sets-I still have two containers of nutmeg and two of sage.  But by the time I got the spices back in I found a lot more room and moved stuff from one cabinet to the next.  In the end I was pulling stuff from 8 different cabinets!  I took before pictures...but not of 8 cabinets. 

not the best before an after picture.
It's too bad because I managed to fit way more stuff in there.  And, of course, pull out my '8th bag':)
I re-organize 3 other cabinets, but the pictures are about the same as these.  But I did (practically) empty out two other cupboards!  Which is good because I need a little more space.

Why else?

Because of this guy:)

I should know better, but I sent him to the store with a grocery list that included "chocolate". 
I didn't say what kind or how much.
Just chocolate.

And this is what that guy brought me:)

Two ginormous bags of mixed chocolate (snickers, kit kat etc.), yorks, 3 packages filled with hershey bars and a few bags of ghiradelli chocolate chips.
I think I'm set when it comes to chocolate:)

Does it get better?  I submit that it does not:)

Thanks, John :D

Thursday, September 15, 2011

6 n' 7

40 bags update:
yesterday I dinked around under the kitchen sink.  Surprisingly, I didn't find much that didn't belong there.  I moved a few things around and then helped John prep for a 7th grade lesson on the Preamble by utilizing my mad glue stick skills and awkwardly wielding a sharpie.
Today I went after the fridge.

Lots of random stuff.
Turns out-most of it unnecessary.

Earlier in the day I just took everything off and piled it up.
I knew I wouldn't to get much of it done until after the kids were asleep, you know, now that my sweet 19 month old has grown out of naps (seriously, does anyone else have kids who do that?!).

So tonight, after the kiddies went to bed, I pulled my pile onto the living room floor and went at it.  At one point it looked like this-

sorry about the icky pictures, I took them early morning and late at night-thus requiring the flash...I hate using the flash

But through a few episodes of Wings (thank you Netflix) I finished up my project and John finished up his lesson plans.  In the end this is what my fridge looks like:

No more papers hanging around.  No piles on the top.  I even tossed magnets that I thought were ugly.  That fridge top has only been wiped down maybe twice in the past 4 years!  This fridge needed a bit of tlc and I'm glad it got it:)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well, What Do You Know (Day 5)

Today wasn't all that exciting '40 bags' wise.  Either that or it was quite fabulous indeed:)
The job for today was the kitchen closet, aka the water heater closet.  Let's just say it probably hasn't been all that safe the random stuff we've been keeping in there.  So today my plan was to sift through it all and find new homes for most of it.  But I forgot something-I totally did that a few weeks ago!  What do you know, the closet wasn't a mess at all!  Although I did feel a bit cheap for not having actually done something, so I went at the recycling instead.
We've got a 13 gallon trash can for it, but it is always overfilled.  When we can't balance the random boxes and cans anymore we start filling up diaper boxes.  Before I even stepped in the kitchen we had the trash can and 2 boxes filled with recycling all ready for me to take out back for the lovely recycling gentlemen.  Not what I was planning, but it definitely needed to be out of the kitchen.
We'll see what happens tomorrow when I check out the underside of the kitchen sink...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 4

Today I grabbed those random spots in my living room.  The gap between the couch and the wall, the little wall shelves and the ever important diaper basket.

This is our 3+ foot wide behemouth of a basket is where we store our diapers.  

While the corners here and there were mostly full of junk that needed to be tossed this basket needed to keep what it had.  This whole pile of diapers, though, just wasn't working.  In there I had 3 different sizes of diapers, swim diapers and two types of pull-ups (three, since the boy pull-ups were divided into day and night varieties).
Well first thing (after dumping the whole basket and making piles) was to yank the swim diapers.  It's probably still warm enough, but it's September...and I'm not blowing up that kiddie pool again.  Then I pulled the newborn diapers.  I'll need them soon(ish) as my next little one is coming in January...but the next youngest is about 19 months so I'd say I'm good without them for now.

It's not much-I added a box to help keep things divided.  We'll see if it will stay that way, especially as the kids get used to it. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Fabulous Husband! (aka Day 3)

Today there aren't any before and after pictures.  Wanna know why?
Because of this guy.

err..this guy!

Not only did I get to sleep in...and then read in bed...and then shower and finally come down stairs at about 10:30 (our kids tend to get up at 6:15) but when I got downstairs I found that day 3 (our living room bookshelf) was almost done.  He let me do the final bits and pieces, but that shelf is now empty except for two or three items, such as mail we need to put out on Monday.  This guys is awesome:)

Teaching Bub to ice skate.

Checkin' out the fish pond.
Daddy and Babe, when she was quite a bit younger.

Being a goober:)

My best friend.  My favorite guy.
Thanks, John-I love you:)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 2

Day 2---Utensil drawers!

Okay, so I didn't have a lot of stuff to get rid of in these drawers.  But I still did some good!

3 Drawers Before:

3 Drawers After:

A few things-I didn't have too much in the 'give away' bag, but I did have a grocery bag of trash.  But-I'm rather pleased with myself.  See those white boxes?  Well I work with Lia Sophia and have all sorts of jewelry boxes laying around.  (Isn't that such a great problem?  Oh darn, I just have so much jewelry I have too many jewelry boxes!)  Anyways, a friend suggested I use them to organize drawers-fabulous!  So I glued a few together and used them to help divide/organize!  Now that you're looking closer-see those batteries.  Yeah, they weren't in the drawers before.  They were here.

In a cardboard box on the counter.  I feel better just looking at that drawer:)
In the end I didn't give away much (a can opener and a lock) but I'm so happy to have that battery (and junk) box off my counter!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 1!

Front Porch!



I don't know if you can tell-but there is one more stroller in the after pictures, but seeing as it was sitting in the drive way I figured it would be okay.  And see that grey car seat?  Yeah, not a kid seat but an actual seat from the car (after picture 1).  That should be gone soon, too.  We took it out of the car when we moved a couch and needed the space and just haven't gotten it back in yet. 
But part of this whole deal isn't just to organize but to get rid of a 'bag' a day right?  So here is what we're getting rid of:

 This is our give away pile.

This is our trash pile.  Okay, so technically the bike wasn't on the porch, but it needs to go too.  Alright, I know someone out there is thinking it isn't a bike, it's a trike-but if you want to be technical then take a look at that rear left wheel.  Oh wait, there isn't one!  Only two wheels.  Haha-so in my own strange humor it's a bike!

And I have a confession-these piles are still on our lawn.  I know, kinda defeats the point right?  But for today I maintain it's okay because a) I can't get the table to the recycle center on my own because I can't put it and the kids in the car at the same time and b) as I increase in my preggo-ness boxes like that are getting harder to lift.  So we may have to wait until tomorrow evening to get it all taken care of-but that's alright.  I'm pleased with myself anyways:)