Monday, February 28, 2011

The Funky Chicken

Honestly, I've been in a bit of a funk lately....aka all of February, and maybe part of January there it is, my too legit to quit excuse for the lack of substantial and hilarious blogs. As per my usual around here...OF COURSE!

I was starting to feel a little less "funked" and then my Baby Bear came down with HELL and we literally did not leave the bedroom, or bed for that matter (except to go to the Dr.), for an entire week. And then we struggled to keep it together for another week after that, and that was the large part of the month. Now I've just been overwhelmed with catch up. As in, catching up to a tornado toddler who has been making up for lost time via dumping everything within reach onto the floor. Again and again and again and again......And eating CONSTANTLY so I feel like I might as well just move in to the kitchen so I can load and unload dishes in my sleep. My organization weeks haven't come to a complete halt, they are just a little side tracked with some of the small projects I've been working on that are less abrasive to my sanity. Not that sitting in a pile of cupboard contents and finding a better way to store them isn't healing in it's own right.

So, now I am attempting to climb out of the dark tunnel that has been my February, hopeful for some of that early Spring I was promised so I can feel a little more sane slash stir crazy but wanting to avoid leaving the comfort of my warm home. I have a few projects that I've been working on, like this bulletin board slash key holder (that I DID complete the next day), and I want to show off the cute ideas all this sick time has afforded me but today I don't have the photos ready (or the cleaning to make the photos viewable) so you'll have to settle for an Iphone capture of my new Spring (possibly Summer) yarn wreath. I really love the colors and I kinda think I could have done better on the flower placement. Alas, I use tacky glue because I'm too lazy to get floral wire and figure out how to do it that way.

I'm welcoming Spring to my doorstep! P.S. This Spring I AM going to sand down and paint this awful, chipped door. Hate.It.
P.P.S. Tutorials for the felt flowers can be found at the lovely blog of Mrs. Priss, here & here. I was doing yarn wreaths prior to finding her blog but I know an entire wreath tutorial as well. Basically it's exactly the way it looks, super easy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To Eat or Not to Eat....

I'm puttering around my quiet, post bedtime, house trying to get things done (while not actually working too hard) and I swear that all the sweets and treats in the house are calling my name. Whispering sweet nothings in my ear as I organize groceries in the refrigerator, taunting me with their bubbles and toppings of whipped cream or raspberries as I try to fold my laundry, begging me to stop washing those dishes and sit down with just one cup/slice/piece/bit before I nod off to sleep with my little Baby Bear snuggled in beside me. Curse you holiday that is an excuse to buy things that don't belong in this chubby household!

The Bear, admittedly loathing of such a ridiculous a holiday as Valentines Day, brought home Godiva Chocolate Truffles, Raspberry Almond Torte, Expensive Red Wines, among other goodies and they are all half eaten waiting for me to give in and indulge for the second night in a row. Ridiculous! I should just throw it all out, but the sugar addict in me just cannot let go!

{Mad Mads in her Valentines outfit...well before Valentines Day since we were sick and unable to move on Monday. She's sweeter than any treat!!!}

I'm trying to keep my hands busy with projects but my brain is going a million miles an hour and I can't even focus on getting a single task accomplished. I don't blame this lack of focus, entirely, on the sugar cravings. It's been a really long week. A long month. A long year in fact (is it a bad sign if I'm saying this at the beginning of month 2?), and I am tending to avoid the things that simply must be done. Today, instead of putting laundry away (at least 3 loads waiting on the couch for my undivided attention) I got down and dirty with my spray paints and have almost finished up a little project in the kitchen and one in the laundry room. It takes so much longer during these cold, dirty, months so now, when I am literally a few sprays away from being done I find myself wandering to other jobs. My non perishable groceries are sitting quietly on the living room rug waiting for me to assign them a home. Instead, I am blogging. About all these things I should be doing, but am not, because I can't stop my mind from wanting to eat and then relax.

My Mad and I are slowly recovering from a terrible illness that has plagued our home for an entire week now. She is coughing constantly and her nose is one big scab from the constant flow of snot I try to keep from dripping into her mouth, I have a throat that is swollen, but not enough to keep me from enjoying the taste of aforementioned foods. We both are tired and cranky and ready to feel 100% again. House tending isn't really what I want to be doing tonight but I know when I wake in the morning I'll be even crankier if I have to deal with sick Baby and dirty home. The incredible, and frustrating, fact is that The Bear and I LITERALLY scrubbed this place from top to bottom over the weekend while the sun was shining and we had the energy. It smelled like Pledge and freshly washed floors. Now it looks just the way it always seems to, cluttered and in need of my attention.
{My kitchen project, waiting for colored hooks to screw into the bottom as key holders. Previously it was black, one of those multi-purpose boards from Target.}

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cleanliness is Happiness

One of the most difficult things about settling into a home is getting organized. Ugh. Just thinking about it is frustrating for me.

I totally admit that all my cleaning and organization skills(z!) are practiced NOT inherent. I was the messiest kid and for the first few years of my adult life my home was a wreck. Mostly I hated laundry, dishes, deep cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, & cleaning up after other people. So, basically I hated life in the cleaning zone. Previously I was married to slob of a man who didn't know how to put a dish in the sink, let alone rinse it off, who wouldn't mind climbing over laundry piles to get out of bed, who didn't notice the difference between a pee stained toilet and a freshly bleached one. Then you add into the mix his disgusting friends that were a constant at our house? Yeah. Not a pretty picture (don't get me wrong, I was partially to blame and I know that. Like I said, cleaning was never a natural thing for me.)

Re-building my life from the ground up after my divorce gave me a new appreciation for my "stuff" and my space. I enjoyed having clean clothes neatly organized (it helped that I was skinny enough to enjoy wearing those clothes) in my closet, I enjoyed displaying my jewelry on pretty hangers, I found my happy place in vacuuming floors. I was far from perfect, still am, but I started practicing and building habits that would make my life happier, cleaner, and more organized.

So, back to the house organization. The clutter, oh how it taunts me. Batteries, cords, single socks, scissors, papers, tools big and small, pictures, books, cleaning supplies, wrapping supplies, holiday decor, constant laundry piles (the consistency of dirty laundry makes it clutter), toys, dog items, more toys, kitchen knick nacks. I mean, seriously, the list could go on and on. This isn't even the half of it and if you are a normal human living a normal human life you probably totally get what I'm saying here. I've had enough!!!!!!!!

Last week I posted a picture of my before and after laundry room. I wish I could say that it was the first time I had to totally clean out that room but, oh boy, how the clutter builds up in such a small narrow space. It was probably the third for fourth time! I've been so happy with the final results of that day. The cupboards were organized for the first time since we moved in and I have a lot of great plans to make that space functional, and pretty. Everyone, Google search "awesome laundry rooms" and you will see my inspirations!

So, my goal is to do one space at a time until every nook and cranny in my home is neat and tidy and prepped to stay that way by giving every little piece of clutter a labeled home.

This week, inspired by this photo, I started on my pantry and refrigerator (one of those places that requires constant attention).
{via Tidymom}
Beautiful right?!?!?!? (check out her post for suggestions on how to make the most of a pantry do over)

I forgot to take a picture at the beginning of my work and it's probably a good thing. Look at the bottom shelf of this "mid" before picture. The entire thing looked like that, or worse!!!

After about an hour of purging, wiping down, categorizing, and arranging I got it looking like this:

It's nothing like my inspiration picture because I don't really have ANY budget to work with so the cute containers, baskets, labels etc are going to have to wait. For now this is ten million times easier to live with. It's been a few days and we've managed to keep it this way. Mad loves to go in there and search for "crackers". Which is basically any crunchy snack. I love to open the door and know where things are. Hopefully I'll have a pretty pantry when all is said and done and I can't wait to get to work on that! I didn't take pictures of my fridge (be grateful!) but it is like a different world in there.

Right now the three of us are battling The Sickness and I don't have much hope of getting anything done this week. But, with a lot of Zicam, Vitamin C, and some Thera Flu miracles, could definitely happen. I haven't even decided which space to start next because a lot of my "to do" areas need money spent to make my time worth while. I suppose I now need to learn to organize on a budget!

People, I just want to link you to my new favorite blog that has really given me the drive to get things done. IHeart Organizing. The blog, and the creator, are great and it really inspires me to get shiz done around here. My home style is totally different than hers. Meaning, the framework of my home just doesn't compliment modern, but her ideas are a push in the right direction and it helps me get excited about what I can do around here. Add her to your blog feed friends!

I admit that most days my dishes are dirty and sitting in the sink, toys are scattered, and, like today, every item in every drawer in my bathroom has been pulled out to decorate the floor to my toddler's liking, I just know that this is a step in the right direction in making my cleaning life easier and less all consuming. Oh, and ALL of it is ten million times better than what my younger self would have had going on! Ew to the old and in with the (not so) new!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Night On the Town

Last night The Bear and I went out to dinner with some friends, one of our many childless couple friends. I'm sure it must get annoying listening to me talk about buying diapers, breastfeeding (which The Bear informed me she was too big for, HA!) a toddler, sleeping....or lack of it, eating, bath time, how the hell do we brush her teeth while she screams at us, get the point. We're probably AWESOME to have at dinner!

I was trying my best to not talk about why the buy/sell/trade market of used cloth diapers is so exciting slash financially beneficial slash emotionally gratifying when you're really depressed and suffering from chronic headaches (that's what I tell The Bear anyway) but most of my stories end (and begin) with how funny slash cute slash smart slash destructive my Mad is. Can you blame me???

After several glasses of wine we started planning an evening out with some of their friends that were going to be visiting. "They are really cool," our dinner companions stated, and whew that's great, (right?) because no one likes to be stuck with a couple of duds, "they don't have kids". Ok, I know that the statement wasn't intended to read like I'm implying. Or was it? We were relaxed, having a good time, these friends don't have kids and don't really seem too interested in how awesome ours is (which, for the record is totally ok, I know not everyone is mad about Mad). So, for just a wine induced moment I felt sad. That I was UN-cool because I had a "kid".

The moment was quickly forgotten over panacotta and coffee after which The Bear and I drove home and fell fast asleep, a sleeping snoring dog nestled uncomfortably between us. In the morning I woke early, ready for my nursling to demand to join us, but she was not there. Instead she was safe and sound with her Gram and Poppy running wild and demanding everyone obey her. My sweet and bossy princess.

I realized in that moment that I was ok being un-cool if it meant that I got to wake every day with my little family just the way that it was. I wouldn't trade it for more nights out, more glasses of wine, more mornings to sleep in, more "cool" friends. I wouldn't trade it for anything. My life of diapers, constant snacks and meals, laundry, breastfeeding a toddler, laughs, snuggles, Yo Gabba Gabba, naps & pillow pets is cool to me. It is beyond what I ever imagined and I feel pretty amazing being a part of it all.

And, that's it. Today I am simply grateful for all that I have. My AngryBear. My Baby Bear. My extremely un-cool and beautiful life.


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