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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Skeletons In My Closet

In my house, the idea of 'organization' makes me sweat.

It's something I desperately want, but it alludes me.

Regardless, I have grand visions of a place for everything and everything in its place...but the reality of it is...in a 1945 house with 3 bedrooms, 5 kids, 2 adults, closets the size of phone booths, massive amounts of clothing and 42 million pairs of shoes...'organized' is relative.

This is my actual Living Room coat closet:

There she is. All tucked away in the corner.
Cue horror movie music. We're approaching the monster.
This shoe rack seemed like such a great idea at the time. 3 years and 2 kids ago. It was a $5 LTD Commodities buy. These are not even all of our shoes. No....the clostes upstairs are also full of shoes. It's not like we have THAT many either. We just have a lot of feet. :)

The shelf up above has baskets that hold hats and gloves. In theory, that is. That one on the right ACTUALLY holds life jackets and swim suits.  That plastic bag is full of pillow stuffing. I had big plans to make pillows. You see how far I've gotten with that...
Another beauty shot.
See this convenient set up? Love the radiator in front of the door for maximum door opening capacity.
Because the closet is so crammed, things spill out on the banister. Isn't that pretty for the living room? The first room everyone sees when they come in the door?
Side Note: Isn't that wall going up the stairs just SCREAMING for a photo collage?
And here's what I WISH my closet looked like:

*Sigh* Isn't it gorgeous?
This photo comes from Pinterest and is originally from BHG.com. I've tried to find the original blog, but no luck!

This was a closet very much like mine until they took off the closet doors and added a built in bench, some cubbies, and a few baskets. Voila!

I know, I know...it's scary taking the DOOR off your CLOSET....but see how pretty that is? It's a mini mudroom. 'And oh how I want a mudroom.

I cry and drool as I look through Pottery Barn catalogs at all the beautiful mudroom crap they have.

Unfortunately, this house was not equipped with any kind of mudroom or foyer. You just immediately fall into the Living Room when you come through the door.

Surprise! Here's our mess!

Make yourself at home, just throw your coat over the chair and pile your shoes in the corner. 

So, I have big plans to convert our closet to look like the one in the BHG pic.

Really, it will be inexpensive. The trim is already there (that's one plus for the craftsmanship in this 1945 home), I can find a cute bench second hand or on my fave Criagslist and paint it if need be. I already have baskets galore....so this SHOULD be pretty easy.

Famous last words, right?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What A Sprain In The Neck

I've spent the past 4 days convinced that I had Meningitis.

Googling your symptoms will do that to you.

I've had a sore neck with burning pain that ibuprofen did not even come close to touching.

I've slathered ridiculous amounts of creams and balms on my skin, and gone to bed smelling like a nuclear waste vat.

All for nothing.

I can turn it only slightly to the left without pain.

Sleeping at night is awful....and I mean it's more awful that usual with 1-2 children and a dog in bed with us.

So I took myself to MedExpress today and waited for the inevitable diagnosis and the advice to get my affairs in order.

Instead, the doc pushed on the sore area and I held in a scream. He kept pushing and saying, "That hurt? Yep. You got a pretty good spasm there."


I'm no MD, but I could have told him THAT,

Final diagnosis: Sprain.

I've heard of a sprained ankle, a sprained foot...even a sprained arm, but a sprained NECK?

And I have no clue how it got that way. The doc said I could have slept on it wrong.

I think it's more likely one of the roundhouse kicks my 3 year old likes to give in the middle of the night. Too many times I've been rudely awakened by her tiny foot landing square on my nose. And with authority.

Or the dog who sleeps ON TOP of my legs so I can't roll over.

Maybe it's from yelling at the kids until all the veins in my neck bulge out.

Hmmm. Wait. Maybe a sprain isn't so far fetched.

I love this doctor though. He wrote me a prescription for "1 little bell and 1 case of bons bons."

That's awesome. It was for Joe's benefit of course. And what a farce. Every mom out there reading knows that, next to death, nothing keeps a mom from her duties. I could have a broken neck and I'd still have to clean poop and scrub the toilet. :)

The REAL prescription he wrote: a steroid, a pain killer and a muscle relaxer. So, after I take that muscle relaxer, I know I'll wake up 18 hours later, face down on the kitchen floor.

But the beauty of that is...I will have slept the entire 18 hours without dog gymnastics or karate chops to  the face.

Glass half full.

Monday, October 24, 2011

From Ugly to Awesome. ;)

A little change of pace.

I scored this adorable kid sized armoire/dresser/bureau thingy from Craigslist.

$20.

I was jumping up and down. Joe not so much since he is my dedicated (as in I make him go, not as in he is committed to doing it) pick up dude.

Here's how it started out when I first made its acquaintance.

Isn't she a beauty? 
I forgot myself and had already removed the drawers and started sanding before I took the "Before" pic.

Side note to all Craigslist sellers: CHECK YOUR ITEM FOR OLD BELONGINGS BEFORE PICKUP!: I found 2 pairs of undies and a bra under the bottom drawer. Ew.

Here's an up-close shot of the door and the sweet faux finish someone put on it a while ago.

Look at that. I'm not sure what I like better...the amazing finish or the scotch tape marks.

And get a load of this...


We obviously had a serious Grease Fan on our hands.

I did a little sanding, and then some painting...and voila:



I couldn't put the door back on because it needs one more coat of paint, but Joe and I looked at it and said, "Let's just leave it off!" Granted, a door would be nice to close away the mess that inevitably will become of the costumes. But I could put a little trim around the doorway to finish it off and call it a day.

I like the fresh, white look, but I couldn't resist adding these details:


Each of the kids' first initials.

You can clearly see this faaaaaaar from perfect, but I absolutely don't care! I love it. And it's going to take quite a beating from the kids anyway. 


Most importantly, they love it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Channeling Angelina Jolie

I feel I have to preface this post with the following:

I LOVE my life. I love my kids and I love the big family we have. I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING.

Not ANYTHING!

Now...having said all that...

Every day I spend a good 13-14 hours being begged, yelled at, touched, hugged, pulled on, cried to, argued with, demanded of, sassed, harassed, pooped on, and spit up on.

I do the dishes, prepare meals, do the laundry, clean the house, pick up toys, pick up toys, pick up toys, pay the bills, change diapers, wipe faces, mediate disagreements, and kiss boo boos.

I deal with phone calls where I can't hear, emails I can't answer timely, homework that gets turned in late, and at the same time I try to run a business out of my home.

I schlep 2 kids to elementary and 1 to preschool, and pick them all up a few hours later--with 2 babies tagging along.

Getting a shower is a feat unto itself. Putting on makeup and fixing my hair is an olympic achievement in my world.

Contorting myself into a pretzel is easier than organizing a babysitter for an evening out. Doctor's appointments are acts of bravery with the 3 youngest all present in that small, phone booth-sized room.

Nap time is my solace, but getting all 3 down at the same time so I can accomplish something is almost impossible. By the time all of them are asleep(IF they all go to sleep), it's time to wake them up to go get the boys from school.

Repairs and appointments are my responsibility--both for scheduling and for follow-through.

So, tell me ladies...how in the world do I flip the switch and turn into Angelina Jolie at the end of the day? Exactly how far down do I have to dig to pull out my Megan Fox persona when the lights are dimmed and the kids are in bed?

What's the secret (other than having Angelina's 6+ nannies, personal chef, limitless funds, and time and ability to jet around the world)?

If you're able to balance all of your hats, how do you do it?

My "Mom" and "CEO" hats are pretty stuck. It's nearly impossible to shift from "Mom" and "Caretaker" to "Wife" at the end of the day. Especially when all I want to do is veg on the couch catching up on DVR'd shows, have a snack that I don't have to share, and fall asleep.

How do YOU do it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is It Just Me?


Or are people increasingly rude anymore?

Take today for example...I walked up to take the boys to school. The school is at the end of our road. Convenient? Sort of. It would be IDEAL if it weren't for the ridiculous roller coaster hill I have to go first, DOWN and then, much worse, UP to get there. But I consider it good glut exercise, and--let's be honest--I can always use glut exercises.

So I was juuuuust cresting the top of that mammoth hill when this obnoxious woman glances my way, sees me coming, and....stands right there. In the middle of the sidewalk.

It wouldn't be so bad if the school had a parking lot and the cars didn't park on the sidewalk to leave the roadway clear. So, there I am, huffing and puffing, sure I'm going to die, envisioning the finish line like a marathoner probably does, ready to spray my head with my water bottle, when I see that my sliver of sidewalk is invaded. And by a mom no less.

And I have to stop. Dead in my tracks at the TOP of the hill. We haven't quite plateaued yet, so one false move and I will be skating backward down that long hill. I counted to 3 before she finally slid a fraction of an inch out of my way. That's how long it took her to move.

Let's harken back to yesterday. Same place. This time, I'm leaving the school. And another woman, equally as aware of my presence, stands in the middle of the sidewalk again. In fact, she throws her arm around her son, looks at me, and then turns her back and sashays...I kid you not...in front of me at a snail's pace. I actually--once again--had to STOP.

I could take this only so long, and then I burned rubber up into the grass to get around her. And I heard her snort laugh as I passed. She thought it was funny that I was annoyed, I guess.

This woman....who happens to bring a large tumbler of some kind of drink with her to the school (Thought that was an interesting and somewhat puzzling piece of trivia)...thought it was funny to sashay her bedazzled jeans in my face. That last part is genuine--no exaggeration there. About the sashaying OR the bedazzled jeans. I wouldn't joke about the bedazzler.

And these are Moms. Fellow workers in the trenches. They--of all people--should know the frustration and stress that comes with carpooling kids around in a vehicle that constantly gets jammed up and wheels all turned around...especially on a freaking ginormous hill where I am begrudgingly given about 6 inches of space to land my wheels.

ARRRRGH! It's enough to make me absolutely lose my mind.

Rude. Rude. Rude.

I go out of my way to accommodate people. Honestly. Not only would I have MOVED my fat a--, er..not only would I have MOVED out of the way, but I would probably have asked how I could HELP. But I guess that's just me (and my friends...I know they would have done the same.)

And I really don't feel like trying to sort out all the reasons why maybe these women were oblivious to the fact that I was clearly on the sidewalk--whether it was a bad day, just got bad news, stressed out, not feeling well, etc etc-- I just don't care. I've had all those same experiences and STILL managed to be aware of my surroundings AND kind to others. So there.

But...if these same people didn't move out of my way last year when I was pushing the same double stroller AND 22 months pregnant, WHY would I be surprised that they aren't moving NOW?

So, the next time you see a mom struggling to push a stroller and make sure the small child walking alongside isn't dragged along or following 20 paces behind, please be kind to her. No need for "special" treatment for stroller moms, just some common courtesy. Meaning get the hell out of the way or you may lose a toe.

Just sayin.'
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