Friday, February 27, 2015

Time is Fleeting

For the past year or more, I haven't been taking the time to really blog about life.  I'm hoping to get back to doing that more, but re-creating habits can be difficult.  I've struggled with what to write about - what should be private as we figure out our direction for our family in relation to my decisions surrounding school and work, how much should I share about the kids as they get older, and so forth.

But one thing I know I want to continue to share in this space with absolute certainty are the little moments that capture my heart.  Parenthood is filled with those moments and part of sharing them is holding onto them, while letting the frustrating "are you freakin' kidding me!!!" moments fade away. 

Yesterday morning, on yet another snow day, Mannchen crawled into our bed for snuggles.  The kids usually start the morning this way on days off and weekends, so it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.  But after Hubby and Töchterchen got up to get breakfast, Mannchen and I continued to snuggle (he is the biggest cuddle bug you'll ever encounter).  He laid his sweet little five and a half year old head on my chest, looked up at me with his sweet blue eyes, and whispered "I love you mama."  And my heart just melted.  As I held him a little closer it hit me, the moments like these are limited.  The years of being able to snuggle my little sweetie can't last forever.  And I'm ok with that, but it reminds me to soak up their little kids sweetness while I can. 

And boy is it sweet.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Master Bedroom

I've already shared with you our living room upgrade.  Now, our bedroom has received a few upgrades and I am so happy to say it is essentially complete!  I'd love to say it's complete complete, but that's not entirely the case.  I'm still working ideas to keep the desk space less cluttered and more "clean".  And I've contemplated painting the dresser white (maybe the desk too?).  Shh...don't tell Hubby!  But I don't know if I'll ever actually decide to do those things and if I do, it will be a long time before I get to them.  So, without further ado, let's get onto the pictures.
First, a little walk through the before:
The grey ceilings.  Oh my goodness, the nasty grey ceilings.  Didn't bother the hubby, REALLY got to me.  I felt like everything was dirty and closing in on us.  Seriously.
I don't have any pictures of the bed side of the room specifically, but I found a few pictures of the kids that were taken in the room.  Two of the three pictures I found involved huge messes in the room, which don't really give the most accurate portrait of how our room looked prior to the upgrades...but they do help make the "after" pictures look that much more impressive.
The room, covered in crafts.  Along the wall in the back of the photo you can see the dark brownish, reddish, rusty baseboard heater.

You can see a little more of the room in this one - note the dark window trim.

Isn't she adorable?  Oh wait, this is about the bedroom...note the carpet on the floor and dark trim around the windows.
The craft/sewing/studying/office space.
Broken, lose tiles remaining from what we think was a leak that occurred prior to our living here.  Thankfully even with major rains and snows, we have yet to experience any leaking or dampness. 

Oh, hey there mold hiding behind the quarter round (thanks to that shower leak on the other side of the wall - which I fixed, don't worry!).  Yeah, all the black in the picture was mold and I made sure I got rid of it as best as I could.
And the after: 
I didn't realize until I was writing this post that I never took true before pictures of our bedroom, and so again I apologize.  But as I noted above, the trim was wood, the baseboard heater (along the wall next to the bed) was brownish, reddish rustiness, the floors were as seen above and thus covered with a scrap of carpet leftover from our old house (but we were too cheap to bind the edges), and the ceiling was that horrible grey color pictured above.  Who wants to lay in bed and look at that?!
Now it's all clean, crisp, and white!  I really do love what white trim does for a space.
We traded shelves with the kids to get more shelf space for our growing textbook collection and other supplies.  I was able to get some of the desk supplies off the desk with this too.  However, it's still on the hubby's "to do" list to find a better way to manage the cable cord and other wires seen hanging.

 And that's that.  It feels so clean and bright now.  And we are loving it!  The floors for the kids' room have been delivered and soon the kitchen floors will be also.  Now we just have to find a free weekend (or spring break!) to install them!  I can't wait to share the rest with you as it develops!

Sunday, February 22, 2015


A big focus of my organization (and re-organization) efforts is making sure everything is as accessible as possible for the little ones of the house.  I am a firm believer that kids can be quite helpful when expected to and when able to.  The biggest challenge in organizing a house is kids grow and develop quickly and so things that once worked, don't always work - they are consistently growing into new capabilities.  We aren't at a stage in life where making these adjustments can involve anything elaborate, but I'm finding they don't need to be! 

I am very quick to admit that I am particular about keeping the house tidy.  I don't think I fall into the obsessive category (anymore...), but I don't like picking up things that should/could have been put away in the first place.  For as long as I can remember we have had a shoe basket by the front door, hooks by the front door, and an easy to access hamper for the kids.  I just don't see why I should spend time picking up coats, shoes, or clothes that my children are capable of tending to. 

However, lately it started to drive me crazy how the bath towels were left on the floor - the hooks on the back of the door were put up by the previous tenants and were "adult height".  So I bought new 3M hooks and put them at a height the kids could easily reach.  Then I added a ribbon loop to each towel, because at first they were struggling with how to get the towel to stay on the little hook.  Presto.  Problem solved.  No more wet towels on the floor.

Next problem was the plethora of markers, pencils, scissors, etc spilling out of their desk.  I saw a cute little bar and bucket organization system from IKEA, but I refused to pay more in shipping than the product itself.  Thankfully, Pinterest to the rescue!  I had four of these metal buckets left over from something.  I found little metal hooks at the hardware store for $2.  Now there is a bucket for each type of item - and it's easy to access/see.  No more excuses.  Craft supplies are easily contained! 
We also have a large white board on the wall between the kids' desk and our kitchen.  The kids love to write and draw on it and since it is attached with Velcro, the hubby can take it down to work long, tedious statistical problems when he needs to.  We added a fourth bucket beside it to coral the dry erase markers and eraser.
The next big thing to drive me crazy this winter the mess of hats, gloves, scarves, etc that we adults had to constantly fish out of our hanging holder (i.e. bag on a hanger).  The kids couldn't access what they wanted, it took forever to find the right item, and the kids couldn't reach to put away their things when they came in.  Pinterest to the rescue, again.  I wasn't able to find a clear hanging show holder locally, but this white one works just as well ($7 at Target, I think).  The kids hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves are in the lower rows and ours are up higher.  We were also able to keep our over the door hooks that hold hats and the dog leashes.  (Don't focus on the gigantic trash can overflowing with sports equipment inside the closet...that is not an organizational victory.  And, yesh, that wood door is ugly, maybe I should paint both sides of the door white....).  Again, nothing fancy, but now the kids can do it without our help!  Small victories are big victories in parenting!
Lastly, this had nothing to do with the kids, but the cabinet under our kitchen sink was driving me crazy.  I couldn't find what I needed without taking everything out.  I put up a tension curtain rod near the top and now I can hang the spray bottles.  The other bottles sit below.  I can see and access everything easily.  That is happiness for my Type A side.  
You can find these ideas on Pinterest with prettier pictures (you know, the ones that don't look like they came from a real family/house's linen closet or cabinet), but I figured I'd post reality, not the pretty links. 
Now, if I ever figure out how to make full closets much more organized and less cluttered, I'll really be sure to blog about that!