Advice. I need some. And lots of it. I want to pick your brains. I want us to kick ideas around, to put our heads together, have a bit of a powwow. Or maybe, I just want you to tell me exactly what should be done. I know I get long-winded sometimes (boy, do I!) and this post pretty much proves it, so for you folks who would prefer an abbreviated version...I've put my queries in bold after all the chatter.
I think I can safely say I am feeling like my old self again...capable of doing more than just the same three things every day. I took on my first major overhaul this week and as exhausting as it was...it was very, very needed. I always get a bit of a cleaning bug in the spring. I think this is due to post-holiday clutter and having been stuck indoors for such a long time. But this was no ordinary clutter bug!
With the intention of tearing out walls and flooring to the boys' room, I emptied it out last March and moved all the boys' stuff (except the bunkbeds) to the Spare Oom. The room never was begun and in fact, the mess spread back into the boys' room throughout the year. All year I have hated going upstairs, all year just the thought of it made me want to scream. Thankfully, it is UPSTAIRS, which means company could never really see the mess. (This was my only consolation.) Before Tiddle arrived, I emptied the boys room all out again, in hopes that the room would be done (or at least, begun) before baby. Alas. T'was not to be again.
Eventually, on top of two rooms worth of furniture and stuff, it became a dumping ground of baby paraphernalia, Christmas gifts, supplies from gift-making, sorted clothing piles and the excesses of two very sloppy boys. As things accumulated and the already trashed room became even more trashed, it became easier (maybe even necessary, seeing how there was very little floor space in which to walk) to toss more on the heap. It was bad, folks. BAD. I would have taken a before picture but the fact is, I have been nauseated by that sight for so many months and didn't want to spend another moment looking at- ever again. The room was so out of control that it took three days for me to get thing right. THREE DAYS. If I push up my sleeves and jump in, I can usually accomplish any job in a day- but not this one. I've never taken three days to finish up a room. During this event, I came to realize a few things. Firstly, I need some advice!
I moved furniture out of that room and into the master room to fake some floor space. (Notice I said fake.) I also had to address the problem of clothing storage. We have two teensy closets upstairs. One is literally full of just Matt's clothes. The other, the girls' and I share. The boys carelessly shove their church clothes in too small drawers and they wind up looking at best disheveled at.all.times. And that is, if in fact the clothes are clean. We have a wear-something-until-it-is-dirty policy which, unfortunately, breeds laziness when it comes to actually throwing dirty clothes in the laundry room. If I see clothes scattered on the floor, I send them up to clean the room and more often than not they shove dirty clothes in their drawers as fast as they can in order to resume their projects/play. There have been too many times when I discovered too late that all their church clothes were soiled so Mama Hyde mutated right there in the kitchen, yelling for them to find the cleanest looking thing to wear while praying that all those pious souls at church would be so meditative during worship that they wouldn't notice my stained and crusty children. Not so perfect a heart preparation for worship, let's just say.
Anyone have old farmhouses with small bedrooms, no closet space and a handful of sloppy children? Any solutions and/or advice about clothing said children and storing said clothes would be greatly appreciated. (Yes, I know fixing the sloppy children problem would be an immense step in the right direction. Duly noted and working on it.)
Speaking of clothing...I now have a pre-teen who hit a growth spurt like Ella Kate. Generic teenybopper clothes leave something (a lot) to be desired. Dresses I can find for her are either too childish or too grown up for her (or my) tastes. We don't really buy clothes brand new from the store....pretty much ever. So it is second hand, repurposed or handmade (preferably without the handmade/homeschooled aura) I am in need of some desperate inspiration. What staples does my 12 year old girl need in her wardrobe and what styles would be fashionable and cute without being too cute or teenybopper? Anything? Anything? Someone make me a Pinterest page, would you?
I found that woodland animal fabric when I ran into JoAnns the other day and fell in love with it. I didn't need to buy this fabric (I have fabric), but then again- I kinda did. I have two yards of it and it is cordoroy. What should I do with this fabric? (I realize buying fabric without an intended purpose is a bit ridiculous. Duly noted and working on it.)
What would be a fun theme party to do for whole families? I am feeling the itch to plan something for summer.
I started looking around the other day and realized I have so many unfinished projects it might just be a sickness. I gathered up just the yarn ones (just the YARN ones!) and took this photo. (PS. See that fair aisle hat? I had to pull out my stitches back to the brim SIX TIMES. That is why it doesn't look any different than it did six months ago. I have knit on it a lot- but UNKNIT on it just as much. Argh.) Is this normal? How many unfinished projects do you have lying around? I want numbers, people.
I have found that I have gotten into a terrible habit of waiting until I am ravenous before realizing I need to eat and then, grabbing something not-so-good (like, say, chocolate chips) to eat instead of eating real food that would require me to take the time to make something. I am trying to cut down a bit on carbs so crackers or a sandwich is kinda out. I've decided to do a no-grocery challenge for the month of February so you have exactly three more days to give me food ideas before I ban myself from the grocery store for a month. Hurry! What are some simple, healthy foods that I can go from getting to eating really quickly? Maybe it is stuff to make ahead of time...maybe just snacks to always have around? I need some inspiration!
Alright! Your turn! GO!