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Mar. 25th, 2007

I have been working on the house. It probably wouldn't appear so to the casual observer because I have chosen to first tackle the gargantuan amount of laundry scattered about this place (but mostly accumulated next to my bed). And yes, this has taken days. I haven't been working non-stop of course, but nonetheless, it should not take one days to catch up on one's laundry. And I'm still not done. I think I could finish today though if I really stay on it. I honestly haven't done much besides the laundry but today I am tackling the kitchen. And that's because I bought fabulous new dishes that I want to be opened and loved for the first time in a clean space. I'll post pics of the fabulousness later. I'm working at my own pace, I'm taking frequent breaks. I move slowly. This is something that used to bug the heck out of my mother. She'd say I was slow like my Grandma Burns. Personally, I don't see the big deal. Yes, I suppose the sooner I get it all done then the sooner I can relax. But I'd be dog tired. I am possibly, maybe, oddly getting into a groove where I don't mind doing the work. I was going to say enjoy the work but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. I think it's more that I am developing a sense of satisfaction in doing the work. That might be the word I am looking for. A satisfaction in creating a clean space for my family.

I feel like I now know exactly what I want to do with this place, this space. I have been drawn to the cute vintagey, retroish shabby chic-ish thing for a while. But I didn't trust myself to do it. However, I've only just now discovered all of these wonderful blogs where other women are into the same kind of vibe and I am realizing #1) that there are no rules and #2) I have really similar tastes to these people whose homes/lives I am admiring. So I'm on the right track. I just have to let go now and enjoy the process of doing.
I unearthed the glasses and they're undamaged! Yay! I feel so much less nerdy now. Which is strange because I choose deliberatley nerdy glasses. You know, "emo" glasses. Anyway. They're alive and I am happy. I haven't done much today because I woke up late as the man took the big boy to school and the little boy is on Spring Break. Then we took lunch to the big boy at school. So I am just now truly getting started with my day and I am finding it hard to do so. I was working on the room, hence finding the glasses, but the little boy was all up in the middle of it. Which was good in that he is the one who spotted the glasses but I wasn't getting a whole lot done. So I came out knowing he'd follow and I'll sneak back there again in a moment.

The dog felt compelled to vomit on one of my kitchen rugs this morning so I had to wash the kitchen rugs, putting me behind on the laundry in my room. It's always something, isn't it?

Ah well, back to the grindstone.
So I began tackling my bedroom today. I say began because I doubt that I will finish today. There was a huge, huge, huge mound of laundry next to my side of the bed. The family apparently considers that location to be the dirty clothes hamper. So I may just put the hamper there when I am done. Anyway, that mound is now sorted, which is something. A good chunk of it went into a donate pile and some of it wasn't good enough for that and went in the trash. There's still a considerable amount left but it's no longer a huge mound but many smaller mounds. My dresser needs to be cleaned off, under my dresser needs to be cleaned off. My favorite pair of glasses has been missing and I hope that I unearth them intact.
I haven't got much done today. I decided to work on the living areas of the house first so I started on the living room. And I am not even done. There was so much CRAP under the couch and chair. My kids are pigs. I don't have that much more to do in here though. I really, really need to at least make a dent in the kitchen. Dinner is cooking in a crockpot so that's good, only one more dish to clean. H made himself puke all over the bathroom, that was a nice addition to my day. I'm tired. I feel like I haven't done anything, like I'm just pecking at the mess. But I guess I'll eventually conquer it if I keep pecking.
You know it's bad when an Oprah episode about clutter can bring you to tears. Actually, I already knew it was bad. It's the overwhelmed thing, the "I can't begin to even tackle this mess" thing. The man took naps to escape the clutter? I sit here at the computer, because it's in a little nook and I physically can't see any of the house from here unless I turn around. It's my escape from the clutter. I haven't yet decided exactly what I am going to do. I know that I shouldn't take on too much at once or I'll get really overwhelmed. So I need to either do 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off or just establish a certain amount of time that I am going to work, like say from the time I drop off the younger one until the time I pick up the older one. If I do the 20/20 thing I might come here and make update posts about what I accomplished in the previous 20.

I do know the first thing I want to work on and that is laundry. I have literally mountains and mountains of laundry. And if the weather warms up like it is supposed to I will do just like the show suggested and take it all out in the yard. OK, I will use my back yard and not the front. The last time I got laundry caught up I moved it all out into the garage. I can't remember why the car wasn't in there, maybe it was because of the laundry, hehe, but yeah. That helped. Because rather than have this mound o' laundry I had piles. And I could tackle piles and see the piles decrease and it just worked for me.

The first room I want to finish decorating once everything is clean and decluttered is our bedroom. Why no, a pigsty is not conducive to an active sex life. So yeah. No room in our house is really "done" in the way I would like. Every room needs a little somethin' somethin' . . . so this is going to be a process, one of many months.

May. 10th, 2006

Hmm, this place is going to need some spring cleaning and a little face lift! ;)

So, I just returned from the grocery store, where the only meat I bought was a pound of salmon. There are so many health benefits to it and the boys love it so I am going to keep that in our diet but probably only serve it once a week at most.

I looked at the labels of everything, trying to avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated anything and anything enriched in the top 5 ingredients. In the mainstream foods it was really hard to find foods that didn't have that crap. And then when I got over to the small organic section, it was like the heavens opened and angels began to sing. So, I may make the drive out to Whole Foods because then I can find alternatives for just about everything and not just a few items.

I bought the boys' cereal in the organic section. We'll see how that goes over.

Later I'd like to sit down here and record what I bought and see how much of it turned out to be organic. I got quite a bit today! I spent a little over $100 but some of that stuff is not going to be a regular purchase. Like big containers of rice that will last me a while. And all of the bagels and cream cheese I bought for this weekend's breakfast since my folks will be here and I don't want to hit McD's for breakfast. I bought myself Tofutti cream "cheese." I hope it's good. I also bought myself rice milk for my cereal. I'm not ready to go VEGAN but I am trying to cut out as much animal as possible. I may not even eat the salmon. I'm not making the boys go vegetarian/pescatarian/whatever. They can still eat meat if we're out or at someone else's home. But the more it's cut back at home, the better for them. After all, they too are at a high risk of colon cancer due to our family's history. Eating good now can only help.

Oct. 5th, 2005

I feel ready to implode. I should get up and work. I just feel overwhelmed again. Well, the good news is we're about to do some serious budget clean-up. One major issue for us since M went to a weekly paycheck is that first check of the month. Because every bill and it's brother is due on the first. OK, maybe I am exaggerating but the frickin' mortgages are due on the first and that's inconvenient (to say the least). So I started scouring the bills today. The smaller mortgage can be auto-paid WEEKLY. That alone rocks. Small chunks each week is mucho bettah. The big mortgage can be auto-paid only monthly but you pick the day! w00t! Step 1 to getting control here.
We went to the new Ikea today. It was everything I imagined it would be and so much more! LOL We grabbed lots of little things today and ended up spending $80 which was a real baragin because we got a lot of stuff. Colorful plastic bowls and cups for the boys, a nice big wooden cutting board, new bedding for the kids . . . I forget what all we bought. We thought we had spent twice as much as we did. I look forward to going back on a weekday when the boys are in school. Oh, we found the most fabulous table for the dining room. I feel sure we'll end up going back for that. M and I both loved it. It felt nice and sturdy, which I noticed was a little hit or miss there. Some pieces felt good and solid, others not so much. You definitely have to be selective about your choices. They have these quilt covers there. Basically they sell these nice white quilts and then all of these different covers that they slip into. But Henry already has a couple of comforters so we just bought one of the covers and we're going to put it over an old comforter. I can't see why that wouldn't work. Brandon fell in love with this bright green fluffy blanket. I can't wait to put Henry's bedding on, it is so cute. Pictures to come later . . .

I'm thinking about making our bedroom pretty feminine. M says he doesn't mind. Being the only "girl" in the house I can't be too frilly. I'd really like to get an white iron bedframe and some of the Shabby Chic bedding from Target. Maybe even paint our furniture. But that seems such a shame after all that work we did to refinish those dressers . . .

Weekend = messy house. Plus school starts tomorrow for the big boy, so off to work I go!
Poor neglected journal, much like my house. We have so much we want to do to this place but such limited funds. Also we're so accustomed to doing make-do cheap stuff from years of renting that we periodically have to stop and remind ourselves, OK you OWN this house. You do NOT want the cheapest bathroom vanity, you want the one you want. And of course that one is like $600. So it has to wait. But someday man, someday this house will be the coolest house ever.