20 October 2016

October Lately

I haven't blogged much lately, partly out of depression and partly out of busyness. Matt went up north for a weekend for his dad's annual whiskey tasting. He got home and three days later, I went up north for a few days of his mom's girls' crafting weekend. I got home on a Friday, sold at my first Mom-to-Mom sale on Saturday, and then Matt went out of town again on Monday for a work conference. He got back on Tuesday evening, but then had to stay super late in the office on Wednesday and leave today (Thursday) by 6am for another conference. He'll be back home this evening, but has to head into the office on Saturday to get caught up, all these conferences are making it difficult to hit his deadlines.

The big thing I've been avoiding talking about is that my milk dried up. I'm not sure what started it (about two months ago) and I tried very hard to resurrect it, but it's gone. I don't really want to get into details because I don't want to talk about it because it's depressing.

So anyway. Crafting weekend (actually Wed-Fri) was amazing.

I did bring Theodore, who pulled to stand for the first time and said his first word, "Mama."

Crafting-wise, I got so much stuff done! From when I first woke up until I fell asleep at night, all I did was crochet. I finished a cozy sweater, several items for the Mom-to-Mom sale, and crocheted a few new pieces to sell.

My mother-in-law is a devout Catholic and everyone in attendance was a devout Catholic and we had some excellent discussions. Just holed up all weekend listening to some very holy women share some very enriching stories while I just sit back and crochet. For three days.

Alright, I've run out of time- the natives are beginning to riot. The Mom-to-Mom sale went fabulously, I made more money than I expected. I came in with way too much product ($1300 worth), so I signed up to do two more sales and there is a third one I will sign up for when it becomes available.

04 October 2016

Cleaning: Blitz Style

I've adopted a new cleaning style and I'm totally digging it! And this is what gets me going nowadays: talking about cleaning. I know, but it (cleaning) is a huge part of my life as a stay-at-home mom/housewife, ya know?

So, Matt was telling me about this article he read in which the author works super hard one day a week. I think there's been a few books written on the topic actually, but it's finally getting around to us. Anyway, as soon as he told me about it, I had a sudden realization. That's totally me! That's exactly how I work! I strive to do a few chores a day, inspired the moms I most admire in my life, but in reality, I work really hard on Mondays, then randomly during the week, either I'm sick or the kids are sick or there's doctors appointments or someone is having a REALLY BAD DAY or I just plain don't feel like sweeping. So I sit around feeling like a lazy failure and the to-do list gets pushed off and off and off until suddenly the stars align and I blitz out a super productive day. Every week. So why not plan life to go like that?

So for the last month and a half, that's exactly what I've done. I picked Mondays because, for some reason, I am always feeling very motivated on Mondays. So every Monday after we eat breakfast and send Abigail away on the bus, I strap Theodore into the Ergo and clean. I do the dishes; I wipe down the counters with the special granite counter protector; I put away the random piles of stuff that have accumulated on the bench all week; I sweep, Swiffer (mop), and vacuum every room on the main floor and the basement; I put away all the toys and clutter than has gathered on the bookshelves, the coffeetable, and the bar; I clean all three bathrooms; I tidy up the playspace in the basement; I use the special wood protector on the kitchen table; I dig the missing toys out from under the bed and the dressers. I clean.

There are a few chores that Eleanor likes to help with, but mostly she just plays by herself in whatever room I'm cleaning. She gets the routine. I do have a few "special" toys (toys I put up high that she only gets when I really need her to be distracted that I sometimes break out, and I'm also prepared to let her watch Curious George and Sofia the First all morning, but I have yet to need the Babysitter Television for my Monday Blitz.

I'm usually done by lunchtime. I'm pretty organized anyway - tidying is just a matter of putting things back where they belong. Everything already has a place where it belongs. As much as it seemed like it during my old schedule, cleaning a 3 bedroom ranch house is not a marathon kind of feat. One Monday a month, I'll do a little extra work - completely clearing off the counters before I wipe them, moving furniture when I mop and vacuum, and on those days, I usually finish between lunch and naptime.

Cleaning reminds me how blessed I am to be out of that tiny apartment. I'm still in love with my house. I would definitely buy it all over again. Without a doubt.

Then during the rest of the week, I only have to do the dishes and pick up the toys before bed. We can run errands, be sick, be lazy, go to the park, whatever we want without guilt. I totally love it.

I don't do laundry on Monday Blitz, though. For some reason, laundry just gets forgotten amongst all the other chores. I used to do all my laundry on Thursday, but I'm going to try spacing it out and doing one load per day all week. I'll even set timers on my phone to go off at the same time every day: "Move clothes to dryer!" "Get clothes out of dryer!" We'll see how that goes.

30 September 2016

Before and After: The Girls' Room

I don't think I ever tire of rearranging furniture. And a little autumn rearranging is just what I needed today!

So Eleanor and Theodore are not very good roommates. They keep each other up until 9 or 9:30pm most nights and are complete grouches the next day.

I moved their beds together because otherwise Eleanor will just sleep on the floor next to his crib.
Abigail had her own room because she wakes up at the crack of dawn. Then then proceeds to empty, overturn, and clear out everything she can get in to and shove it all either under her dresser or under her bed. Toys, clothes in the dresser, blankets and sheets from the bed. As a result, there is a childproof doorknob cover on the inside of her room and the room is mostly empty. I do have a pack n' play in there though, and this is where Theodore took his afternoon nap.

The people who sold us the house did not have a door for the closet in this room, and, as it's an odd size, we haven't gotten one ourselves. Of the two non-master bedrooms, this one is the smaller one, and by a fair bit. It's also weirdly shaped, but since it shares a wall with the living room, I really didn't want to put Theodore in it. I'd prefer him to stay in the back of the house and with all the toys so I don't have to clean every single thing up every single morning.

So I decided to move Eleanor into Abigail's room, a space they haven't shared in this new house. I also decided to move their little arm chairs from the living room into the bedroom and buy a 3-shelf bookshelf. This will give them something to do in the morning before we get up, and it will give Eleanor something to do when Theodore is taking his morning nap in the room with all the toys. (Although there are also toys in the basement for the kids too.) I am hopeful that Eleanor's presence will prevent Abigail from emptying the bookshelf every morning. Plus we really needed the space on the bookshelves in the living room for our own books.

And, voila!

Super cozy! The girls have already maxed out a three-shelf bookshelf and I even pulled out the little baby books to put in Theodore's room!

I put an old crib sheet over two milk crates to form a small night stand. After a night or two to see if this arrangement works, I'll reorganize Theodore's room. I should probably rehang the pictures and decorations on the wall, but I am always moving rooms around, so I probably won't try very hard.

Lastly, I got a $4.50 tension rod to hang the girls' dresses in the closet, and hung up a curtain and rod we already owned to pretty up the closet. Only $30 for this room makeover!

Someday when we are done moving kids from room to room, I'd love to paint the walls. I have a beautiful pink-and-cream Parisian theme I'd love to do in the girls' room...but I really don't want to put the finishing touches on something dainty and feminine only to move Theodore into it.

27 September 2016


I have been attempting to wean off my antidepressants lately, and it has been a rather terrible experience. The side effects of withdrawing are so terrible I almost don't want to go on medication the next time I am pregnant. Physically they are just awful. Mentally/emotionally, I am suddenly drowning again in overwhelming feelings of failure and worthlessness. It is a tough battle, this depression stuff. I hate it. I don't have anything else to say right now. Writing just this has taken a lot.

22 September 2016

Shopping and Lunching

Now that I'm down to my two "easy" kids, I run errands during the weekday again, and while I don't hear it quite as often, I do still hear "You have your hands full!" a lot. Maybe because Eleanor and Theodore are so close in age? Anyway, I used to respond with a polite smile, but lately I've been trying out the "shock jock" method.

"You have your hands full!"
-"And I have one in kindergarten!"
-"Normally I have three, this is a breeze!"

"You have quite a load there!" to my full cart at Sam's Club.
"And I'm not even done yet!"

I can't believe how much food we are suddenly going through. Part of it is Theodore. He eats like a boy. A hungry boy. His record is 2.5 blueberry muffins. He wants in on every meal we eat and is more than happy to take down a spoonful of Mommy's food instead of his baby mush.

Part of it is school. Abigail eats more because she is more active and has the peer pressure of all her classmates actually eating.

And part of it is that a lunch - and two snacks - that works well in a lunch box is more expensive than lunch at the dinner table. Over the summer, if we weren't in the mood for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I could whip up something special: donuts with smoothies made from the fruit about to go bad in the fridge. If Abigail didn't eat breakfast, I could just let her finish off her cereal for lunch. I could buy a big container of yogurt and scoop some out in little pink bowls for a snack. If we ran out of granola bars, I could just make popcorn or muffins or whatever and in 20 minutes, we'd have a hot-from-the-oven snack. Now I need individual containers of apple sauce, I can't run out of pre-packaged granola bars, I can't send leftover mac 'n cheese in a tupperware with a kindergartner.

I'll find cheaper ways of doing things as time goes on, I'm sure. This is, like, my third week ever of packing a kid's lunch. But it does have me wondering: can I prepackage my own food? Can I make a couple batches of granola bars (these ones are SO GOOD!) and wrap them up individually? Is there a way to make my own no-refrigeration-needed apple sauce pouches? Do I need to buy a thousand feet of cling wrap? Sandwich bags by the thousands? Disposable tupperware? Is there a way to do this without filling up a new landfill every year?