Tuesday, June 17, 2014

best laid plans

When I started this project and decided to blog and tweet about it, I decided to a) tweet at least once a day and b) blog at least once a week. I picked Fridays to blog because with kids in school and a front loaded weekly schedule, Friday was an easy relaxing day. And then the school year ended.

Now, I am not one of those moms who gripes that the kids are home all day. I actually like the kids being home all day--once we get our expectations aligned.

Someone once told me that the reason that we get frustrated in daily life is because our expectations do not match the reality. This was a lightbulb moment for me. I started to notice that if the grocery store frustrated me it was because I had this expectation--I go in, find exactly what I need, get out with little to no fuss--and I met this different reality--they are out of bread flour and every line is horridly long, and the person in front of me has 50 things in the 12 items or fewer line! It actually made it easier to deal with the mundane frustrations because when I head into the store, I know to leave my (sometimes unrealistic) expectations at the door. I know that if I am frustrated with the kids, that it probably means I have an expectation of them that they may not even be aware of.

And so, we head into summer, where the children expect fun and pool time, and laziness, and sleeping in. And where I expect to be able to get all my normal stuff done (running 9 miles a week, de-cluttering every day, keeping the house tidy) and expect them to help out.

We have already had some issues. The first day of summer vacation the high temperature was an unseasonably cool 58 F, so obviously (to me) the pool was out. But to my kids, this was an insult--how DARE the weather not cooperate. How DARE mom make these arbitrary rules (I told them I was not taking them to the pool unless it was at least 70). The first day of summer vacation, I told them that I had a new expectation for them in regards to chores--they would now be responsible for putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, instead of the sink. This has been met with great resistance. In addition, errands are no longer quick in and out things they were. We have to spend 15 minutes getting ready (in case we see someone--ah tweens), or deciding who will actually go. We have to make grand bargains (as in if we do these three errands we might be able to hit the pool later but seriously we need propane/food/swimming suits). And of course in dealing with all of this, the de-cluttering has fallen by the wayside.

I will get back to it, I have to. For one thing the sewing room is still a mess. For another, I had a de-cluttering nightmare, in which I could not bear to part with any of my 4 pairs of slippers (I don't actually have 4 pairs of slippers). Today I made a start to get back to it, I finally threw out the ice cream I bought back in December that no one wanted to eat.

Friday, June 6, 2014

progress of sorts

So, I haven't had a lot of time this week to go through things, but most days I did manage to get my two things in. Part of what happened is that my husband undertook a massive book shifting project this weekend.

As an aside, to say we have a lot of books would be the understatement of the year.

And so all weekend, I got rid of books instead of fabric. And he filled two and a half boxes with books to donate. But I did promise pictures. And I guess when I look at the pictures, I can't see progress, but trust me it is there. First the side hall before:

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And then during:

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That empty drawer was so crammed full of fabric that it wouldn't close. It will have fabric in it again, because I have this huge tub of fabric that I'd like to winnow down so that most of it fits in the dresser. I also moved that dresser back to where it goes. The plastic dresser is going to have to find a new home, so I'm hoping I clear out enough stuff to make that happen. The two boxes in the background? Full of books to donate. Anyway, here is the main view--sort of before:

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And today:

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Kinda looks worse, but that's primarily because all the fabric on the floor is finding a new home. Also that stuffed raccoon on the chair--he keeps moving to that chair from the donation box. Like every day. So, I think I'll have to donate him (he has a name says my daughter--Rocky Raccoon geeze) during the school day.

I also photographed my piles of giveaway fabric. These are scraps and flannels:

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These are the bigger pieces (1/4 yard or larger):

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And while I have a long way to go, I still do feel like I am making progress!

If you're curious about what is leaving my house every day, you can follow me on Twitter. I'm @Todaystwo.