Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pinterest in Practice

I found this DIY project on Pinterest to make your own hardware store bath toys and thought it looked like a fun, fairly easy project that Amber would love.
Well, it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped, but between my hubby & I, we managed it!
My tips; when drilling, don't go too fast; the friction can melt the plastic & get it stuck to the bit & totally gum up the works. [I have a pic of the bit stuck in a piece of pipe after it got pulled right out of the drill! it's on my phone, though & I don't have a smartphone, so I need to find the adapter for my micro SD card to transfer pics to my computer...]It takes a while to get the hole started, but once the bit gets in there, it doesn't take as long to go all the way through.
Getting the suction cups in the holes is really hard! I couldn't do it. My hubby cut himself twice & ended up getting out the drill & widening some of the holes in order to accomplish this. He found it helpful to hold the drill at an angle & move it around so that he created a tapered hole funneling into the center. We were also using a flat-head screwdriver for leverage like in the picture, but I'm not sure how exactly it works as I was busy keeping Amber away from the project.
So, here's a few of the pieces we made:


We're having Amber's B-day party (early) today, so here's hoping our gift is a hit! ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jewelry Update

As I promised with my cyber Monday sale ('like' my facebook page to get the coupon code!), I've been listing new pieces in my Etsy Shop: Innisms, including one of my favorites. I waited to list this one, trying to come up with a better, more creative name for it, but decided to just put it out there anyway!

I've been excited about the birthstones & other natural stones I got recently. I'm hoping to buy some more, but I need to sell some to be able to afford another purchase.
I made this one with real garnet chips (her birthstone, January) & Baltic amber as a thank-you for taking care of our daughter, Amber, while we were on vacation:


Here's another piece with natural stone that I made a while ago for one of my craft swaps:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday

If you haven't already liked my facebook page for my Etsy site, now's your chance to get a coupon code for 30% off everything in my shop for Cyber Monday! LINK

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving & Lake Geneva Trip

I'm on vacation right now w/hubby. Along with some other circumstances, Amber's going to be staying FIVE nights with my mom & step-dad. We've never been apart more than three nights, if that. I teared-up a bit Thanksgiving night when they left.
I've taken very few pics on the trip so far, just been trying to enjoy some time, just hubby & me. Maybe I'll take more later, but I have plenty to catch up on.

Here's Amber working on our leaf project I mentioned in the last post.

We've noticed lately that she always does this when she's thinking & concentrating on something & sometimes just licks her lips incessantly. During a Skype session with Paul's mom, she noticed it & commented that it was just like when she was a kid. Apparently the habit skipped a generation. :P

My finished projects & one of Amber's paintings.

Our mutual project. :)

Tables are all set! Amber helped. ;)

Amber's ready to eat!

Paul cutting the turkey!

Amber playing under the table after dinner & the family reacting to her.

My mom's selling these scarves & had me & Paul's cousin modeling them for her facebook page.

Lake Geneva at sunset last night.

We haven't had the greatest service at our hotel... I called last night when there was a stink bug flying around our room. While I was on the phone with the front desk, Paul caught it in the ice bucket & they said they'd send housekeeping right up. This picture was taken about 20hrs later... we put it in the hall. We haven't been brave enough to see if the bug's still in there, but it doesn't look like it's moved much.

I made earrings for myself. That's something I haven't done in a while because my ears are so sensitive to metals. These posts are titanium, so here's hoping! *fingers crossed*

Also hoping our neighbors are quieter tonight. :/

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Progress

Well, we've made a lot of progress, though not quite as much as I'd hoped (against hope) to make by this point.
Yesterday, we moved a ton of stuff out of the living & dining rooms. There's still a pile of ads on the couch & some random stuff on the coffee table w/my computer. There's a pile of receipts & random stuff on one end table & a few misc. things & old newspapers that need shredded for composting on the dining room table. Some progress was made on the kitchen counters & the basket of randomness was sorted out. We need to sort through our growing collection of incomplete sippy cups & decide whether to pitch or hold on to them and get them off the counter.
We've had a rather crazy day so far, but I think I prefer it that way... it's kept me from dwelling on the fact that, had he not passed away over 5yrs ago, today would have been my dad's 60th birthday.
not a day goes by that I don't think about him & what everything from May 23rd, 2007 onward would have been like had he not passed. Our wedding, where we'd live (we were able to buy the house because of my inheritance), what education & career decisions I/we might have made differently, our kids. I had been really looking forward to seeing him as a grandpa. -Ok, I need to think about other things before I break down...

So, what's happened so far today?
I clogged & overflowed a toilet. Go me. BUT! I also unclogged it & dried up the floor in the bathroom and even managed to get most everything that could be water-damaged out of there before it happened & it wasn't the nasty stuff that overflowed... So, yay for small victories.
Right after I got done dealing with that, I was trying to get dressed when the carpet cleaners showed up. I just yelled out my window "Just a minute!" and finished getting myself dressed before I went down. Then we had the fun of moving the rest of the furniture and getting the carpets cleaned on the main floor. They're almost all dry now & look SO much better! Hope we can keep them this way at least until Thursday!
While we were waiting for them to dry, I took Amber for a walk down to the park & watched her play for a while there. Met a nice lady & her 19mo old son there. Noticed he had on a cloth diaper, so I asked her a bit about that. Still have to win Paul over on that one.
On the way back, we collected some leaves & I did some art projects with Amber (pics later, if I remember) with them. We did crayon rubbings of the leaves & then painted over those with water-colors. She didn't quite get the idea of creating a washed out background with the paint. She just wanted to paint a picture, so we did one big one together & then I did a couple little ones on my own while she did three paintings of her own.
Edit: In the middle of writing this, my friend who helps clean my house came over, so I went & did some more work trying to find the kitchen counters & table for her, so the art proj. stuff is all cleaned up now.
After the art projects we took a little down time & I let her watch her new favorite show, Poppy Cat. Then we ran to meet up with this lady who sold me her used Mei Tei baby carrier. :D I went in Target & got myself some more eggnog & some fruit snacks so I could get cash back (& those items, of course) & pay her cash. I wanted to get the half-gallon eggnog, but they only had two & they both expire on Friday! Not a chance I want to take while pregnant TYVM. :P
Then we went to Gordman's. I'd gone on Saturday with my friends & had found a 20% off one item coupon that I let my friend use. So, I went to print another one today & the entire Gordman's website was down. I'd noticed you could also get a coupon like that by signing up for their e-mails, but that wouldn't work either. So, when I got to the store I asked about it & was basically told the first one was a fraud (It sure didn't look like it & it worked fine for my friend!!) and that the e-mail one only gets you 15% off one item. Ugh... so they had me fill out the paper form for the e-mail & wrote on it that I could get 15% off one item. Amber got her stuffed monkey she was pitching a fit over on Saturday (with her money - earned for accident-free days) and I found the maternity clearance section & was able to get a couple more tank-tops for layering! :)
We got back over an hour later than Amber's usual nap time, but she did fine & is sleeping soundly now. As I mentioned above, my friend came to help clean the house & has been working on the bathrooms. She gets an extra hour tonight to help us get everything in order. :D

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Challenge!

Yeah, I need to get the house ready for Thanksgiving... the basement is not a priority right now.
I did my laundry yesterday & got most of it put away today (a few sweaters were still damp.) and helped hubby with his a bit.
One of my friends who lives out of town (just out of state, actually) is visiting this weekend, so I hung out with her & another of our friends the last two evenings.
We've gotten most of the trash & recycling taken out. I clipped & sorted coupons this morning.
I also finished a jewelry Christmas present. I can't wait to share it online! I'm excited with how it came out. I got a good start on another one yesterday. Hoping to finish it today & get my jewelry stuff put away... though I have some other ideas. Anyway...
I did find the missing library book, but haven't gotten it returned yet. Our grace period ended yesterday, so we're starting to rack(sp?) up the dimes we'll owe. :/
I don't think there's much else to report.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 15 (post)Update

I don't have many successes to report for yesterday, but I do have some. I didn't read the chapter, I didn't do much towards the challenge and I didn't get many more toys picked up, but I did get some put away. I did do a load of Amber's laundry & get it all folded & put away, and I did have a pretty good reason for having such an off day.
As if sleeping weren't challenging enough these days... I woke up around three & managed to get back to sleep before too long, but knowing that hubby's alarm was going to go off at 4:30 didn't help. So, then his alarm went off & we hear a "ker-thunk!"
"What was that?" I asked... Paul put on his glasses (& I think his coat) & peeked out the window & didn't see anything. I had a feeling I heard it from the other direction, though. I said "I think Amber fell out of bed."
So, he went downstairs & we didn't hear any more. I texted him & asked if everything was alright. Just as I got his reply of "yes" Amber started crying for Daddy. He was already in the basement, so I went & got her. Sure enough, she'd fallen out of bed. I later found out that Paul had seen her climb back in & lay back down, so not sure what the delayed reaction was about, but at any rate, I brought her back to our bed & laid down with her. She was sweet & cuddly & showing signs of actually going back to sleep when one of the cats came up & laid down on top of her. She thought this was hilarious & giggled, but laid still. Then the other cat joined us & everything went downhill.
The cats started playing/fighting and found a plastic bag. I kept trying to chase them off and I kept thinking they were going to let up. I texted Paul & told him they were going nuts, but got no reply. I debated about asking him to get them & lock them back in the basement, but they seemed to be calming down. It took a bit to get Amber settled again (& her brother kept going nuts en utero[sp?], too!), but she was calming down & they started up again!
Then, around 6, she announced that she was hungry, so I gave up & texted Paul that "it [was] going to be a loong f-in day." He came upstairs & met us (I think before he got that last text.) and one thing led to another & I just broke down crying. I was so exhausted!
I stayed that way most of the morning, other than a quick visit from the carpet cleaners for measuring I just tried to doze while Amber played. Thankfully, a friend was able to join us for lunch & played w/Amber a bit outside. I was surprised we made it to 2:00! Then we both napped... I for one hour & she for three!
So, most of what little productivity I had was in the evening.
I didn't sleep that great last night, either. I got enough sleep cumulatively, but I woke up frequently & had a lot of anxiety-ridden dreams.
Today Amber had an all-out fit after we got home from moms' group. Thankfully, little boy took his nap w/no trouble & she eventually started eating her food.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14 Update

Today's chapter talks about avoiding excuses, planning ahead and, more specifically, finding the best time of day to be productive.
I already know my best time of day to work on these projects is during Amber's nap time. It's hard to get much done any other time. I'm not a morning person. It's good for me when I do have something to get me up, dressed & going in the morning, but this challenge isn't that. Not for me. This is about getting the house together. So, I can focus well, without distractions, during nap time. No kiddo, no TV, and I go down to the basement so I'm away from my computer and all the distractions it represents. :)
It's just a matter of getting her to sleep, losing a half hour of that time if I need a shower (like today) and getting off the computer!
I'm happy to report, however, that I did get my shower & I did work some more on the desk - which I'm counting for my challenge now. ;)
i cleaned out one of the big file drawers that was stuffed full of CDs & cassette tapes. I got all of them & their cases & whatnot into one box. I can't actually close it, but that's ok... it's just temporary... hopefully.
I got some of the toys cleaned up. There's a ways to go yet, but at least we made more progress than what Amber has messed up since!
I did also go bead shopping online. I didn't get anything yet, but I picked out a bunch of stuff I need/want.
I think I'll have to earn some money to justify spending any more on beading though. So, now I'm motivated to list some of the pieces I'd made a while ago & just didn't get on my Etsy site.

Earlier today I got a deal for carpet cleaning & got that all scheduled for next week. :D
I also got on the Icovia website & played around with layout options for the craft room when we move the guest room furniture down there. Here's a couple more ideas(click on them to get a larger view):


Now I have plans to meet up with my friend & her babies(twins) for dinner & a trip to the library. :)
Paul & Amber are looking all over for the library books. I think we've found all but one now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Days 12 & 13 Updates

Well, I've caught up on the reading & photographed a few more records. Discovered one had a near mint condition poster included with it... the whole set might actually be worth something! Yay!
I didn't really do the tasks I'd assigned myself... which is kind of ironic, since day 12's chapter is all about focus.
I'm bad at this part of it. When I do actually get in a productive or creative mood, my head tends to swirl with all the things I'm suddenly excited to do again! Then I'll jump from project to project & a lot of times this leads to a lot of unfinished projects. Which is what Crystal's encouraging us to avoid.
On the other hand, sometimes I'll get stuck and switching to something else will refresh me & let me come back ready to tackle the original task later. I finished two necklaces, one of which was rather complicated, in two days & started on a pair of earrings. Well, yesterday I finished one of those earrings & I don't think I like how it came out... so they sit there waiting for me to make up my mind.
On the more productive front, I've also stagnated a bit... as you've seen if you've been following my writings here. I want to get the end goal in sight, but I can't really envision it working until we're able to replace the flooring... which probably won't happen until we get Christmas money.
So, I'm not as inspired/motivated by my mega-project.
My Grand goals plan, though... Well, I've played around with the room layouts some more & talked with my hubby some more & we're both excited to make that happen.
So, while kiddo's with Grandma today, I was struggling to decide what to do with my "free" time after my appointments this morning. So, I texted my hubby & asked him what he'd like to see me get done.
He said he'd like to see the grand plan start to come together & he figures the first step is to clear out my giant desk in the office so we can see about getting rid of it.
So, my new task was to work on that. I think I made a good deal of progress today. I went through the bag of random office supplies that was on top of it & all the pens in the drawer & threw away the ones that didn't work & sorted the ones that did. I took all such office supplies & put them in our storage closet.
We(I) also have coin collections, paper money collections & stamp collections (most of the latter two I inherited from my dad) that we'd been trying to keep in the lock-box until we discovered they wouldn't all fit. So, I put all of them in a shoebox and put it in storage for now. Now the lockbox just has important papers & can be locked again! :D
I cleared out all the top drawers of the desk & much of the top surface. What's left are a bunch of random electronics & components(most of which I have no idea what they're for or what to do with them) and the stuff in the big drawers. The one on the left is full of CDs & cassette tapes. That'll be dealt with (at least temporarily) easy enough if we can find a good box about the right size. The other side has some really random stuff. There are a couple of boxes that, at least according to the box outsides, contain the old 5.5in floppy discs (that were actually floppy) and I saw the manual for my photo editing program, titles to the cars (maybe those should be in the lockbox??) and so on... random!
At any rate, I don't feel too bad about deviating from the Mega Project plan because it's all part of the same goal, I was productive & it'll make hubby happy! :D

Oh, I almost forgot, I had my therapy appointment with my psychologist today & was telling her about the challenge & mentioned the accountability partner thing and she raised her hand like "ooh ooh me!" lol. I told her about how my bestie, Andrea, has been my accountability partner since 2nd grade when we'd talk on the phone while cleaning our rooms. It did keep me from hiding in my closet with whatever book I'd found or just sitting down & playing with the toys I'd unearthed, but it did not always keep me on task. Likewise, I have been similarly lenient with my half of the bargain through the years as well. ;)
So, I asked my counselor, "Seriously? Daily check-ins?" [I'm doing well to afford appointments every other week with insurance covering most of it!] and she said I could e-mail her! I've been hesitant to e-mail much to her as I'm not sure what's allowed... what needs to be done in session or whatever... but sure, I'll take all the support I can get!
She suggested I make a new rule for myself that I make this a "success blog" & only post an entry when I've accomplished my daily goals.
Me being me, I'm already exploring the grey areas, such as "well, I didn't stick with my original plan, but I was productive!"
I do think it's fair though if I go back & re-vamp the plan again... just harder to make that part of my half-finished 21 day challenge. I think as long as I find something to focus on & make progress overall, we'll be happy though. ;)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Days 10-12 Pre-Update

If that title makes sense... I have to catch-up and move on to day 12. Last night I did read chapter 10 & got a preview of chapter 11 on this blog. Both deal with finding yourself an accountability partner.
My best friend & I were already trying to be accountability partners for each other, but we're both kinda softies when it comes to that. My hubby generally is, too. I didn't really ask him to be an accountability partner, but I have talked to him about the challenge. I wish I had more of a following on my blog, but I know the way to do that is to reach out & follow other blogs more closely... & if you've read this or know me at all, you know that I struggle with the computer time-sink, so I'm hesitant to add anything more to what I feel obligated to do on the computer! :P
Today I'm babysitting, and lucky that the kiddos are playing nicely at the moment. ;) Sometime within the next hour, little boy will, hopefully, go down for his nap & then I'll get Amber & I lunch & work on getting her packed up for tonight. When little boy wakes up, we'll get him lunch & then his dad'll pick him up around 2, just in time for Amber's nap. Then I can try to get back on track with my challenge.
Today, I plan to do some general cleaning up, keep photographing records & start sorting through the books on one of the bookshelves if I still have time. Since I'm skipping a couple steps & tomorrow was my official day to start on the bookshelves, I'll be back on track.
Tonight I'm planning to go to a babywearing meeting. I didn't have much luck with it when Amber was littler. I got a ring sling & a "free" fabric sling. The ring of the ring sling always dug into my shoulder. I think I'd need one with a smaller ring. I actually like the plain fabric sling, but it doesn't work for a very little baby. I think I might like a mei tei carrier. I'm hoping some of the other participants will let me try out what they have & the presenter can help me maybe get the ring sling more comfortable or, if not, maybe I can find someone who'll be willing to buy it.
My hubby'll be taking Amber to go stay the night with my mom. I have a couple appointments tomorrow, but no kiddo to take care of, so hopefully I can be extra productive! ;)
I'm also hoping for some time to continue working on my jewelry projects & play a little Minecraft. :D

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Days 10 & 11 (Non-)Updates

So, I kinda fell off the bandwagon again. I've enjoyed my weekend though!
I haven't read the chapters yet, and I haven't photographed any more records. I haven't done any laundry, so my life hack isn't applicable. My Day 10 assignment to myself was to do general clean-up for the rest of the hall to get ready to set up the furniture pieces for the kiddos' craft room as my Day 11 challenge.
The main problem with that is having the records & a couple large coolers & other large items that need better homes. I think I may need to re-vamp & skip to some other steps. Of course, the only furniture-type item that needs set up for the kiddo craft room is a wire shelving unit where I plan to store the art supplies. I'm hesitant to have ALL of them within Amber's reach though...
Day 12's challenge was to move all the art supplies down to that shelving unit. I might skip all those steps until after we get the new flooring installed.

What I DID do this weekend was go with the family to look at armchairs. Our glider in the living room isn't holding up very well. Plus, it's a pale beige/cream color & shows all the little spills & cat hair. We went to Furniture row & found a couple of clearance pieces that showed some promise, but were far from ideal, aside from the price. Next, we went to the La-Z-Boy store. They were doing a Veteran's day weekend sale where a bunch of chairs were on some sort of BOGO(%/amount off) deal. Our sales lady turned out to be the mom of one of the ladies in my moms' group who is in turn the mom of one of the girls in Amber's gymnastics class last spring. She talked us into getting two chairs! The color isn't ideal & they weren't as cheap as the clearance ones, but they were much better in every other way. So, the grand plan of my last post has been revised a little to make room to put the 2nd chair in the office.
After we got home I found that my beads I ordered had arrived! So, I excitedly got to work on some new jewelry pieces. I've been working for years now to try & make a special necklace for Amber with real amber & turquoise, her birthstone. I finished it yesterday:


I started another necklace that's going to be someone's Christmas gift. I finished it today & started a pair of earrings to go with it.
Between yesterday & today, I played around with our ideas for the grand plan & measured all the furniture in the two basement rooms & our guest room & figured out how to fit things in the new plan. I used this free room-planning website to figure out the layouts & came up with these plans:
That shows the office with the new layout, except for the door is actually bigger & thus there's not room for the bookshelf to the right of it as represented by the rectangle; especially not if we want access to the light switches. We'll probably put that bookshelf in the hall, even though it won't match the other two already out there.

This is my craft room with the antique furniture pieces from the guest room. There are a couple more of those wire shelving units in there currently that I didn't include in this layout. There's also big bins, boxes, baskets & piles of STUFF that needs to be dealt with both in the craft room & some in the guest room.

Today, I had planned to get back on track some, but I was lazy this morning, ate lunch, showered worked on the necklace & packed up my beading stuff to take to the "crafternoon" with my friends. After the get-together we had dinner & then clipped coupons & planned a shopping trip, which my hubby went & did while I was writing this & taking care of kiddo. We helped put the groceries away already.
All that & some phone calls & Skype video calls are what comprised most of our weekend. So, I don't feel too bad about not sticking with the challenge exactly & feel like I was a little bit productive and overall reasonably relaxed. ;)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grand Goals

So I was chatting with my best friend about our planned sleeping arrangements for new baby Kevin & Amber. She might lend us a toddler bed for Amber for when Kevin outgrows the cradle in our room, so he can use her crib that we just converted to a toddler bed.
We plan to co-sleep at first & then put him in the cradle. After that we weren't sure what we were going to do, but we were leaning towards just using the Pack 'n' Play as his crib & leaving her where she is until she's big enough for a twin-size & by then he should be ready for the toddler bed.
That's not totally ideal, since the Pack 'n' Play isn't really meant to be used as an all the time bed, but I really didn't want to invest in another crib or toddler bed. I'm also not even sure where we'd put another piece of furniture. The way Amber's room is now, we can just barely fit the Pack 'n' Play in, but it'll block a bit of the closet... which isn't a big deal, it's a pretty big one with double doors. Maybe the crib could go over there, *or the bookshelf could & the crib could go where it is... Idk. This all depends on their being able to share the room, too. If their sleep schedules don't mesh, we'll have to figure out putting one in the guest room.
So, I have been thinking about all this for quite a while & I finally threw the idea out there to her & then to hubby as well. So, now we kinda have a rough grand plan of how we'll shift around all the furniture & kiddos & stuff and make it all work.
So, the caveats are that we don't really want to put a kid in the guest room as is b/c most of the furniture pieces in there are antiques I inherited from my great great aunt & only other place to really put those (& have them be remotely useful) would be in the basement bedroom, currently known as my craft room/ the black hole. Which is crazy cluttered & crammed right now. That's my ├╝ber-Mega Project that I've been putting off for... well, a couple years actually.
So, I hope to sort through, pare down & organize all the stuff in my craft room & my part of the office & then to move the genealogy stuff & maybe scrapbooking stuff to the office & hopefully free up enough space in the craft room to put the antiques down there & have it be a guest/craft room with the craft portion being primarily sewing & beading stuff.
Paul pointed out that if we were to get rid of the giant desk (which is starting to fall apart) currently in my half of the office that would free up a lot of space, even if we put in a smaller desk. He also talked about getting a hutch. That would be nice. We might be able to use the desk I already have in the craft room. That would help a lot with freeing up space all over the place.
Then, the guest room would be freed up for one of the kids & Amber's room would be opened up however much more for the other. We'd eventually need another bed & dresser, but I think that can be accomplished in this time-frame.
I think that about covers it for the overall plan.
So, any of you want the remains of a giant desk with a big piece of tempered glass on the top? We'll have to take it apart to get it out of the room. It was VERY difficult for the professional movers to get it down the stairs and IN to that room & that contributed greatly to the falling apart.

Day 9 Update

I feel kinda bad about babysitting today. I went to my moms' group with both kiddos & had a nice time there learning tricks for themed parties. When I picked the kiddos up, little boy was fussy & had a poopy diaper, so I changed him. Discovered a bit of diaper rash & no cream in the bag. Poor kiddo. When we got back, I put him straight down for his nap. He went right to sleep. Got Amber & I lunch. Went out & got the mail & then his carseat. Sat down & check computer stuff & read chapter 9 in the 21 Days book... and kept hanging out, paying no attention to time, but listening carefully for little boy... nothing. Finally, I look up & realize it's almost time for his dad to come pick him up! I go check on him & he's still laying down, but gets up as soon as he hears the door open. He's fussy again, but when I change him, the rash isn't as bad. I check his temp & it's fine. Get him a snack & his dad gets here within ten minutes of his waking.
I mostly feel bad because A.) I didn't have to do much & B.) he's not going to nap for his dad.
On the other hand, I have made it a rule for myself that I don't wake a baby (or a cat) unless we really need to go somewhere right NOW or some similar extenuating circumstance. Perhaps little boy just doesn't need so many naps any more. He's one & a half. Also, he's been teething & might be growing & they're trying more & more new foods... who knows? *shrug*

So, Chapter 9 was an extension of yesterday's which talked about writing down your goals & breaking them into more manageable pieces. I'm not sure if I misunderstood something... like, were we supposed to come up with a different goal besides the Mega Project? At any rate, I'm not ready to add any more goals as I'm doing well to keep up with the Mega Project & life hack & small daily goal (which has become a 2xweekly goal). I did, however, already plan out some of the other Mega Projects I'm hoping to tackle next & started breaking some of them down into more manageable bits.
My assignment to myself for today's bit of the Mega Project was a catch-up day. I did find homes for the rest of the random stuff from that one box, though a literal handful of small things were just stuck in a bin in my craft room. I did photograph 6 more records (ALL Barry Manilow! I'm so sick of his face... didn't know my dad was such a fan of him & Neil Diamond!) despite having to run all the way upstairs to help my daughter dawdle.. I mean, use the potty & get back to avoiding her nap... I hesitate to say anything, but it seems like in the last few minutes as I wrote this, that she's finally crashed. That only took, what? An hour & a half?? Ugh.
Anyway, I think the records are my new daily task, as I've been doing well to get 4 or more photographed each day, so I'll just let that be a goal so I don't get so burnt out on them.


Meanwhile, my friend who hosts a server for our multiplayer Minecraft game started a new world a couple days ago & I'm all excited to play again. I need to figure out this newest update & what bats are good for.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8 Update 2

I read the chapter & she mainly just said to write your goals down & post them somewhere conspicuous to remind yourself to accomplish them. She also suggested wording them as if they're already done.
I did write my list out in a notebook, but it's bright orange & I leave it on the couch next to where I sit on the computer. ;)
I also picked up most of the toys. :)
Paul's working on the office now because we have friends coming over to roleplay tomorrow.
I think I've earned myself some gaming time... our cat, Leela, thinks so too. She's laying on my hand that's working the mouse. I typed this whole thing with just my left hand! (I think I fixed all the typos, but if I missed any, I blame it on that! I'm very right-handed!)

Day 8 Update

I haven't read the chapter for today yet, but I did part of my challenge.
Amber did much better about going down for her nap today! Yay! I was, however, much more productive yesterday when she fought it for two hours & then napped for an hour! :P
I got my shower. I photographed four more records. I got 8 done yesterday. I wasn't able to find homes for my few items left from yesterday before Amber woke up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 6/7 Update #2

Well, Amber seemed pretty tired around 1:00... so, shortly thereafter, we headed upstairs & got her ready. It's now 3:00 & she's yet to sleep.
She's discovered that she can get out of her bed & open her door, so she's been running all over. I feel exhausted & my throat's getting sore from yelling "back in bed!" and "lay down!" at her.
In the mean time, I did manage to photograph some more records, though that task is proving MUCH bigger than I thought... and tedious.
These are the records I've gotten photographed in the last few days.

And this is what I still have to do...

So, After a while, I took a break from that & did my Day 7 challenge step.
Thankfully, I actually did what I set out to do in that step all in one go & much of what I set aside for step 8 as well! :) So, that makes me feel better & a little more on track.
I had a box of random stuff that I needed to sort through & put away elsewhere or get rid of. My goal for today, Day 7, was to sort through the box & then my goal for tomorrow was to find homes for everything in the box. I found many homes for things as I sorted, so there are just a few more things in there that need homes yet. I have ideas for them, but they mostly require getting the office & some other areas cleaned up. I guess the office may have to move up on my list of projects to tackle next.
I'm going to do my best, however, to balance these projects that are "chores" with ones that I find fun... like crafts & home decorating. :)

The Day 7 chapter in the book starts with "We've all heard the phrase, 'Can't never could do anything.'"
Um, sorry, never heard that before... but I get it.
I mis-stated in my earlier post that it was partially about avoiding negativity... I guess I had read a teensy bit ahead. ;)
Crystal goes on to tell us to remove "I can't" and "try" from our vocabularies (at least in regards to this process)... I have heard the phrase "Do or do not. There is no try." Thank you Yoda!
So, that's the goal here. Take up the Nike slogan & "Just do it!" Gah...
Ha! Next part of the book says to watch this video... called, yup, "Just Do It." Nothing to do with Nike, though. Some guy named Art Williams giving a speech back in the '80s.
Crystal suggests we watch that clip every morning for motivation.
Sorry Crystal, I can't handle that much of that accent! That's why I can't stand country music... all twangy.
No offense to you fans & southerners... just my own personal aesthetic. I'm used to the Midwestern non-accent. ;)

3:27 & kiddo's FINALLY sleeping! Woot! I'm taking a break that I feel I actually deserve! ;)

Day 6/7 update

Hard to believe I started out ahead in this challenge!
Well, Day Six is all about avoiding negativity & being realistic with your goals. Crystal asks if they're SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding & Time Specific.
Specific? Yes, I wrote down specifically what I wanted to accomplish.
Measurable? Yes, either I'll accomplish my goal & the basement hall will become a kids' arts & crafts room or it will continue to be a storage area.
Attainable? Yes, I have to remind myself of this, but it really shouldn't be that hard to accomplish!
Rewarding Yes, my hubby will be so much happier once this area is uncluttered since he walks through it at least once daily & Amber (& I) will love having her own space to do her art projects. It will be totally awesome when it's tiled & I won't have to worry about her messes so much either!
Time Specific? Yes, since it's part of the 21 days project, I've given myself,... well, 23 days since I actually began.

So, I updated a little below, but we were talking about re-assessing the goal and the steps along the way to make sure it's reasonable. I did look through my steps & remembered/discovered that my past self knew my present self pretty well & what was my day 9 assignment for myself? -"Catch-up Day!"
Yup, and the day after that? - "Misc. Clean-Up."
I knew. So, at least in a few days I'll officially be back on track if I stick with it until then.
My one fear is that my Day 6 step is taking much longer than I'd anticipated.
I have a whole container full of my dad's old vinyl records. Ages ago we bought a USB plug-in record player to convert these to digital files. It didn't work quite the way we'd hoped & it's a long & tedious process, so we've set it aside & the crate full of records have sat, untouched, for ages.
I am hesitant to just get rid of them for so many reasons, but there are only about two or three I can think of off-hand that I might actually bother listening to. One or two of those are because they're by a friend of ours & I don't know if he ever produced tapes or CDs. I've actually recently gotten back in contact w/him via facebook, so I guess I could ask, but I still don't plan to part with those. I think that's reasonable, but I still have the whole rest of this crate to deal with. I think about a third of it is Neil Diamond.
I know there's not likely to be any worth any particular amount of money. Dad's parents were among those who got rid of his Beatles albums, so there isn't much cool in there that would be rare now.
My concession to the hoarder in me is to photograph all the albums & their covers. That way I'll still sort-of have the art & be able to reference what we had.
That was my Day 6 assignment. I started on it yesterday, but due to difficulties with lighting & a late start, I only got through three records & their covers... in 49 pictures!
Unfortunately, Day 7's step is another one I expect to be time-consuming. Good thing I have those built-in catch-up days & such! My other contingency plan is to only make my goal for this 21(23) days the hall instead of the hall AND furnace room. That cuts almost a week off of my original plan. :)

So, I'm proud of myself for sticking with my "life hack" and getting all the laundry I did yesterday folded & put away... yesterday! :D
On the other hand, I haven't made much effort towards picking up the toys.
I didn't list it, but a couple other goals I've had are to do a better job with providing lunches at home for Amber & myself & do a better job cleaning up afterwards & not leaving the mess for Paul when he gets home.
I did make some progress on this yesterday & today. Yesterday I made actual grilled cheese sandwiches for us. I didn't "cheat" by making toasted cheese. ;)
Today, I took her leftover chicken from eating out last night & mixed it with some leftover pasta Paul made & added pesto & cheese. Just wish we'd had some veggies to mix in. Oh well, at the restaurant last night, about all she ate was her broccoli, which is why there wasn't much leftover for today. ;) Then we had grapes. She had part of an apple with breakfast, too. Getting her to eat fruits & veggies is the easy part, it's getting her to eat grains & proteins that I have to work at! So, I was glad today when I went to clean her up & only threw out one bite of chicken. :)
I can't wait for nap time so I can try to take this momentum & get some more work done!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 5/6 Update

So, I referenced an article in the previous post that Crystal wants us to read, so here's a link to Michael Hyatt's "5 Steps to Developing Discipline.
In the article, he talks about anticipating obstacles that might impede your reaching your goal & coming up with a plan to deal with & overcome those obstacles. Crystal assigns us to think about those & write down at least one foreseeable obstacle & two strategies to overcome it.
My number one obstacle is right here: the computer. I spend so much time parked in the same spot on the couch, checking my email, facebook & other sites obsessively. I know that's my biggest time suck. So, my strategies for dealing with it: setting a timer is one option, but I haven't really tried it yet. My other strategy I've used is to use the TV & Amber. In the morning, especially, the TV is usually on. So, I'm going to try & make a point to get up when the show changes. Most of the time that's every half-hour. The other cue I'm giving myself is if Amber asks me to get up or to get her something. I'll make a point of breaking away from the computer, even if I'm not consenting to what she wants.
I came up with these ideas last night, but I'm afraid I didn't really follow through that well this morning. I didn't completely fail, as I did manage to work on my to-do list & got out of the house.
Today I have worked on the laundry (see previous post), gotten dressed, made lunch, voted, done a little shopping & read the article above. Now that kiddo's napping, I've worked a bit more on the laundry, gotten a pic ready to hang, checked things online & updated this blog while, admittedly, getting distracted by the TV. Back to it.

21 Days Update for days 4 & 5 & Jewelry-Making Update!

Pretty much fell off the bandwagon. Already.
Day 4 we were supposed to write an exhaustive list of habits we want to change. I didn't. I also haven't kept up with the one habit I'm supposed to be working on. The toys are everywhere again.
Monday/yesterday was babysitting. Both kiddos did fine for me, but I was super tired & low on patience. I think they may have had upset tummies based on little boy's diaper & Amber's accident... ugh. So, doing Amber's laundry is high on my priority list today.
On Sunday, on a total whim, I looked at FireMountain gems & beads & started picking out some things I was interested in. I wanted to get my daughter some real Amber to make a special necklace for when she's older. Then, I noticed a link for their 67cent sale! Tons of items for 67cents or less! I ended up finding a bunch of birthstone gem beads. I ended up going through & between what I already have & will be getting (because I did go ahead & place my order yesterday), I'll have real gemstone beads for all the birthstones except diamond (April), ruby (July) & sapphire (September) which I just couldn't afford. ;) Some of the others I used alternative stones that were more affordable as well. So, here's what I ended up with:


I'm excited to make birthstone gifts & products for sale!

But, back to the 21 Days challenge...
I still haven't done the day 2 assignment I gave myself (hang the pics that are ready to go up) but I tried talking to my hubby & the only one we know for sure where we want it, we can't get to the wall to hang it until he cleans up stuff in the office. The rest, I'm not sure where we want them. So, all that's left of that challenge is to clear up some space in storage to get hubby to lift the heavy bin & put it in storage.
I did my day 4 assignment ahead of time, so I'm good on that. My day 5 assignment I gave myself was to go through some CDs I have in the hall & figure out where to store them. I've been thinking about it & the only idea I have for where they should go is in the office... which is also a big mes s& there's not really anywhere to put them until we clear out some stuff in there. *sigh*
So, I added a step that wasn't in my original plan... which turns out to be what Day 5 was all about. Day 5 was all about what to do if you get off track. Crystal talked about the importance of not giving up or going overboard and just to let a little setback stay little & get right back on track. The extra Day 5 assignment was to re-assess the Mega Project plan & make a contingency plan for if/when you get off track.
Well, I'm already off-track. So, it's time to re-assess & re-vamp the plan. Since I found more stuff that I'd set aside for the garage sale, I decided to photograph some of it & list it on facebook for my friends to look over. I did get that done yesterday.
So, today it turns out that I have nothing scheduled today except to go vote at some point.
I actually prefer having more to do, structured time to work around. This has been my greatest struggle since becoming a stay-at-home mom: the complete lack of externally imposed structure. Without a work/school schedule to work around, I have nothing but "free" time that isn't really free. Now, the only structure I have to work with are meal & nap/sleep times, which keep changing as Amber gets older & are about to change even more as we add her little brother in to the mix! I do NOT know what I'm going to do except to try my best to go with the flow & figure things out as we go along.

So, my to-do list for today:
*Vote
*Laundry (Amber's: _Wash _Dry _Fold _Put Away Towels: _Wash _Dry _Fold _Put Away)
*Re-vamp my Mega Project plan & complete another step. [I didn't really need to re-vamp it. I looked back through it & remembered that I had built in catch-up days & similar!]
*Pick up the toys
*Read Michael Hyatt's "5 Steps to Developing Discipline" (Another assignment from the book)

AND, if I get through all that with time to spare, I'll read for Day 6 & try to get back on track!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

21 Days 2nd Update for Day 3

Well, nap time did prove to be difficult. No more so than some others, so I can't say if it's due to the bed change or not. She generally stayed in or right next to the bed, but fought sleep for hours. This was after willingly laying down nearly an hour earlier than usual.
During nap time I snacked and snacked. I read a whole section of my for fun book & picked up most of the toys. I didn't bother fishing everything out from under the furniture, but I got most of the rest. All the table surfaces are covered with both my & her things that really should be cleaned up, but I feel good about the progress I did make.
I'm hoping my friend calls me back & comes over or comes up with an idea for something to do. It's so quiet now, it's almost eerie & the sun's already setting. I'm feeling rather lonesome. I guess kiddo will wake up soon enough, but I'm really hoping to spend some time with my friend, too.

21 Days Update 3

More like update 2.5 - I skipped my Mega Project assignment for day two, but did my assignments for days 3 & 4 just now. I'd given myself some easy assignments for those.
Day 3's assignment was to find a place to store the stuff I'd held on to for a garage sale when we took a bunch of stuff to donate to Goodwill recently after not being able to sell it to any of my facebook friends. A few of the picture frames I sorted on day one got added to this box. I also have the box of incomplete frames to donate yet. I put both in the storage room & discovered I have at least 1 or 2 more boxes that were earmarked for garage sale already in there! I hope to tackle the storage room soon in my organizing attempts, but I may just hold on to that stuff & hope we can actually have some things for the garage sale next summer.
My day four assignment was to find a new home for all the extra lightbulbs that had randomly accumulated down there. I'd forgotten that I'd already found a plastic crate thing to put them all in, so I just moved them to the furnace room. I think it'll fit on that shelving unit in there once we move the tools to the peg-board.

Last night we opened up Amber's bed so she has a big girl bed. She did great at night! She slept & stayed in there until Paul went in this morning. She doesn't seem to realize that she could just get out yet. *Fingers crossed*
Now it's nap time. She went up there quite willingly & was quiet for a good 15mins before she started talking & moving around. She's been doing that for a good half hour now, but staying in the bed! We moved her video monitor so we could see more of the room in case she did get up, but we can't see all of the bed now & it's driving me nuts that I can't actually see her!
She keeps saying "Uh-oh! I dropped something!" ("something" being her Elmo doll, a binky & now she's actually just saying "something") and not seeming to realize that she can just get up & get whatever it is. She was pretending there's a door on her bed where the crib side used to be, but she can "open" it. *shrug* I prefer this to all over the place!

The Day 3 challenge (aside from part 3 of the Mega Project) was to chose one chore to tackle for the next 18 days as a "life hack." That is, some small change made one day that's meant to help start the next day with a positive outlook. Crystal's example was to make sure the kitchen is clean before bed.
This is supposed to be a small & easy change & the state of our kitchen right now... Well, Idk if that would be small enough for us. Plus, the kitchen is my hubby's domain. He does a pretty good job of keeping up with the dishwasher safe stuff every day, it's just the plethora of sippy cups & other plastic-ware that has to be hand-washed that piles up... and the fact that the kitchen counter "peninsula" is our catch-all area.
I think what I'll commit to, is picking up the toys. I've tried to do this before, and I think especially if I can get Amber more in the habit of actually playing with one set of toys at a time & not just dumping out as many bins as she can & then ignoring all of it.... we could actually accomplish this. I've timed myself, & before I was pregnant, I could consistently get all the toys on the main floor picked up in 10-15 minutes.
Before I timed it, it seemed like such a gargantuan task; especially with the whole two-steps forward, one step backwards progress when Amber is "helping." Even when she's actually on board with helping & trying to do what I ask I have to constantly give her very specific directions and be working alongside her. Most often, though, she loses interest in cleaning up after a while & suddenly whatever I just put away is what she desperately wants to play with at this very moment.
Now that I'm in my third trimester, it's even harder to keep ahead of her when she's doing this. I can't just wander around picking up things like I used to. Every time I bend over or sit on the floor, it's an effort! So, now I have to work on an area and just clean/sort all that's within reach & then move on to the next area. I can clean during nap time, but sometimes the noisy toys disrupt her and then we still have plenty of hours until bedtime for her to undo all that I've done.
At any rate... that's my goal.
I unknowingly made a teeny bit of progress on this yesterday. Not only had I worked on picking up the toys, but as we were getting ready to go do something Amber had pulled out her toy toolbox & I said "We don't need that right now, can you please put it back away? Where does it go?" and she actually put it back where it goes! Yay! Hopefully we can take these small victories & build on them!

Friday, November 2, 2012

21 Days (Non-)Update 3

I haven't read the challenge for day 3 yet, so I'm now officially behind instead of ahead. *sigh*
I'm not that discouraged, actually, because I've been fairly productive & busy in other things.
I did get Amber's laundry put away, but not my hang-dry stuff. I had some more shopping that needed done last night & I was losing patience with kiddo, so I went out & did that. My dear sweet hubby took some of the ingredients I got & made apple crisp that I was able to take in for one of the snacks at my moms' group this morning.
As you may have guessed, I spent my morning at moms' group. The ladies enjoyed the apple crisp & I enjoyed being able to help out with our discussion topic for today. We had a guest speaker from a local store that sells a variety of bra & swimwear sizes. The sizes you can't find much of anywhere else around here except online & they offer the only honest/accurate measurements I've found.
Confession time: my girls are big enough that I'm a candidate for reduction surgery. I was seriously considering it, but I dropped down enough after Amber weaned that I decided against it. I must have gone in to be fitted on my skinniest week ever, though, because the bras I got that day didn't fit well for very long. Well, I'm pregnant again, so they're baaack! At least I didn't get rid of my larger sizes when I thought I was going to have the surgery.
Well, this shop is the only place (besides the internet) that I can find my size(s)& I was glad to be able to share with the other ladies that what our speaker was sharing was right on.
Um... I started this a while ago & got distracted. So, uh,... anyway. After moms' group I got the little boy I babysit to nap... a lot. While he was doing that Amber & I got lunch & I sorted through a bunch of coupons I already knew I wasn't going to use, but was trying to share with the moms' group. Now, they're sorted by when they expire so I can recycle the unused ones each week. Also, they won't be so overwhelming for everyone else since I weeded out a ton of ones that had already expired.
I realized at almost the last minute that I hadn't ordered my 101 "free" prints from Shutterfly that expire at midnight, but I had uploaded a bunch earlier, so I was able to pick out 105 (I have some more that don't expire right away) and get them ordered in time.
Paul converted Amber's crib to a big-girl bed tonight. Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Pictures

Just for fun. :)
Amber was the cutest little dinosaur ever! :D

I was a Mommy Mummy! The shirt has little hands, too, but they kept getting lost under my wrappings. :P

Waiting for more Trick-or-treaters. She enjoying handing out candy almost more than collecting it! :)
The best part of all this, is we have her so used to the idea that she just gets candy when she successfully goes potty that she thought all those kids were gathering rewards for going potty! :D

She enjoyed handing out candy so much she cried when we told her it was all over & all the kids were going home. Poor kiddo!

Baby Kevin. :)

Baby Kevin's foot! ^_^

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

21 Days Update 2

Well, I didn't accomplish much of anything towards my Mega Project today & I'm quite certain I won't accomplish the specific goal I laid out for myself. I had planned to take some of the frames I sorted out yesterday & put pics in them & hang them in various places around the house. Well, my mom & daughter are both napping now, so it is definitely NOT hammer time! ;)
The second part of day 2's challenge was to pick a habit to change. Something small & simple like remembering to put your purse down in the same place each day or fold the laundry & put it away as soon as it's done. Well, I was going to at least put away the laundry that was still waiting from the other day, but I haven't yet & it's all in my daughter's room or the guest room where people are sleeping now. :P
I did go to my appointment & get my glucose test, exam & sonogram. I was good & came home & ate my leftovers. I scanned the sono pics in on my hubby's computer, but he just upgraded & I couldn't get them to share with my computer, so if you didn't get to see them on fb, I'm sorry, but you'll have to wait until I get them copied over to my computer.
I had a last-minute idea for a costume for myself, so I prepped for that instead of doing my challenge tasks. In hindsight, sure that was quite & didn't require going in Amber's room, so I should have done the other stuff first, but I can't go back in time now. Also, I wasn't counting on my mom needing a nap, too!
I did go & take my sort-of before pictures of the areas I'm working on. I say "sort-of" since I did do a little work on it yesterday, not that that made a huge difference.

So, here are the embarrassing BEFORE pics of the basement hall & furnace room:
This is what you currently see at the foot of the stairs when you walk down. The wire thing is a shelving unit that's folded up. It used to be in Amber's closet, but it's being moved down here & will house the arts & craft supplies. The tiles are on the carpet b/c one of our cats has a problem of thinking this particular area of carpet is a litter box since she first had an accident there ages ago when she had a UTI. We're planning to have the entire hall & the landing re-done in tile sometime soon-ish (though it might not happen until after Christmas.)

As you turn to walk down the hall, you see in the foreground, more stuff on the carpet covering the area our cat has had her "accidents" & the carpet spray we use in vain when she still goes there. *sigh*

The book shelves will probably stay put, but I set aside a couple days to go through the books & see if there are some we can part with. Might need to find a new home for the 3D marble Tic-tac-toe that's on top. The peg board that's in front of the bookshelves is supposed to be hung on the wall in the furnace room to help us organize the tools & stuff in there.

Across from the shelves is our furnace room, which I'm including in this challenge. In fact, I may even see if we can't afford to tile it while we're doing the rest, but we probably will leave it unfinished. The wall that you see in this pic is where I want to hang the peg board. The big wooden shelving unit to the left is where a bunch of our tools are & there are painting supplies & cat food/dishes on the floor.

Not pictured, & not part of my challenge, is the view straight in to the furnace room where you'd see the furnace itself, behind that is the water heater & in the rest of the floor space are two litter boxes & cat food/water dishes. This is the view to the right with some of our carpet remnants, more paint & a few boxes of stuff I need to deal with eventually. Most of them are full of my old model trains.

Once past the furnace room, you can see the "hall" really does open up to the size of a room. The whole layout of the basement is a little weird, I guess, but it works for us. As you can see, some of the kid art things are already down here: the dry erase table w/stools & my old easel. There are just lots of other things that need dealt with!

Here's the view from the other end of the room. Next to the vacuum you can see the box of incomplete frames I sorted out from the rest yesterday. Also, in this pic is one of our two cats, it's her sister who's been having the "accidents" ever since her UTI. This one has her own health issues, but we finally seem to have those pretty well under control. (Hers is a chronic condition, but we know how to treat it now, so it's much better!)

This green bin is full of picture frames! It & some of the frames pictured here were in the hall & they're currently in the office waiting for me to hang the ones that are ready up & find a home for the bin (& get the ones that are NOT ready...ready!)

Another picture that was hanging out in the hall prior to my sorting yesterday. I might actually have hung it up yesterday if I could get to the part of the wall we want to hang it on! It's still in its protective plastic from Michael's from when we first had it framed about 3 years ago! *sigh*

So, that's where I'm at. Amber is awake... & didn't take nearly long enough of a nap in my opinion! Wish us luck.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

21 Days Update

So, I talked with Paul last night about my decision making difficulty & he helped me decide to go ahead with cleaning up the basement hall & turning it into the kids' craft room.
So, today I've accomplished getting breakfast, checking my usual online things, looking at & assessing the hall & writing up my 21-day plan. I've been distracted by being able to watch the news on Sandy while kiddo's with her grandparents. Thankfully, I've heard from most of the people we know out East & all are doing well thus far. Most didn't even lose power.
So, making this my new day one, I'm going to pick one of my other small projects to do & the first part of working on the basement hall will be sorting through the two boxes of picture frames that are just sitting around gathering dust. I think I'll also take some embarrassing "before" pictures of the space. Here's hoping that the whole process is as easy as I think it'll be & I'll be done in less than 21 days & motivated to move on to the next project!
Now, however, I must get dressed & face the music at the dentist's office. Yikes. Wish me luck! ;)

Edit/Update: I did sort through the picture frames. Decided I'm going to get rid of all the incomplete ones (ones missing glass &/or backing/a means to hang them) but I don't want to just throw them away. I think I'll give them to Goodwill & maybe someone else will be able to make something of them!
My dentist's appointment went better than I'd hoped! My gums haven't gotten any worse with this pregnancy & might even be a bit better AND I had no cavities! :D Yay!
I went & did some grocery shopping & got stuff I forgot last night & a few other things Paul had suggested I get or I found on clearance. ;)
I have about two hours until he gets home from work & date night commences. I should use that time to do my other project/part of the challenge/at least put away the rest of the laundry... but I'm seriously considering a nap. It's rare that I actually feel tired enough during the day to nap & I'm taking that as a sign that maybe I need it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life

I finished the fun book I was reading, so I started reading the new book 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal, the Money Saving Mom blog author last night.

After a short foreword, she got right into the challenge for Day One! A number of other bloggers that follow her are taking the challenge starting on Thursday, November 1st. So, I'm getting a bit of a head start. ;)

So, for those who haven't invested in the book yet, you get a sneak peek. Challenge One was to take some little task that needs getting done & get it DONE!
I actually had a fairly productive day yesterday & was ready to count that as my accomplishment for this challenge, but today, despite babysitting, I was able to accomplish even more. I got most of my laundry folded & put away & I washed, dried & folded Amber's laundry. I can't put hers away until she wakes up from her nap, but I'm glad it's all folded & sorted & she's all packed up to go spend the next couple nights at Grandma & Grandpa's place.

The next part was to brainstorm a few ideas for the Mega Project to spend the next 21 days on & then to settle on one.
I thought of a few ideas & I'm still not 100% sure which one to work on first. My plan is to do one & then go back through & work on the next one. So, the first thing that comes to mind as a MEGA Mega Project, is organizing/cleaning my craft room. It's kinda scary in there right now. In fact, that project is intimidating enough that I'm not ready to start with it. So, I kept thinking.
Next was what my hubby & I are already working on: cleaning out Amber's room so it's ready for us to convert her crib into a bed & taking the art supplies, easel & drawing table that we didn't trust to leave in the room & set up her own little craft room in our basement hall.
A fun project I started on recently is tempting to do as my challenge; I've decided to make Amber a play mat with streets & buildings & stuff for her toy cars. I'm hoping to get this done as either a Christmas or birthday present for her, so I have a deadline on it. Her birthday is right after Christmas, but with her baby brother being due in January, we're planning to celebrate it before Christmas this year.
Another fun idea was based on one of the suggestions by one of the other bloggers & that is to set out to complete a scrapbook. I seriously have about 10 scrapbooks started & pretty much none truly finished! Most of those are recent ones for Amber, but our wedding book is high on my list as well!
The other more "productive" idea I had was to work on cleaning out & re-organizing our storage areas. This actually seems less daunting to me than the craft room & if I get them done well, I might be able to use them to store some of the stuff that's currently in the craft room.

I also thought of a few projects that I didn't think would take 21 days or even a week to accomplish, but I decided to write a few down in case Crystal decided to throw in some extra challenges or I just needed to change focus for a while.
We need to clean out the freezer. I started the clean house challenge with her last spring & fell off the wagon when I got pregnant & started fighting a lot of morning sickness & very low energy. When I did that challenge I got the fridge cleaned out, but I never did get the freezer done.
I didn't write it down last night, but now that I think about it, the pantry is getting pretty jam-packed with all the stuff we've accumulated with couponing.
Also high on my list is cleaning up the master bedroom. There are a lot of random things I've accumulated on the floor, in & on my nightstand & the bookshelf on my side of the room. The top of Paul's dresser needs a little attention as well.
We took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill recently, which cleared up some space in the basement & in our closet, but during that process I realized that we(I) really need to clean out the closet. The clothes are fine, & most of the stuff in the medicine drawers that are in there are fine, but there are a lot of other random things in there that need sorted out & we need to make room for some new luggage we got back in the spring.
While I was on that line of thought, I can't deny that I really need to work on the stuff in the guest room closet & some of the dresser drawers there in the guest room. A lot of what's in those dresser drawers are my non-maternity clothes, but there are a few drawers with random other stuff, extra bedding & such that needs sorted through. I did a little of this before the donation, but decided to hold on to some of the extra bedding that I know we're not going to use as bedding to use for sewing projects. Mainly, the aforementioned play car mat project.
Another little project that's on my list of things to accomplish before we have Thanksgiving guests, is to thoroughly clean out the snake's cage. It's ideal to do this when it's not too cold out, so we can just hose it out, but I'm not sure we've hit that window. Also, the cage is big & heavy enough that I can't handle it on my own, so I have to convince Paul to help me with it.
The last littler project I thought of was to clean out the kitchen catch-all basket. We've been just tossing a lot of things in there that we didn't want to deal with immediately, so it really needs to be dealt with now!

So, after that diversion, the next part of the challenge was to take your choice of Mega Project and break it down into 21 smaller parts to accomplish each day. So, I guess I, uh, have to choose which Mega Project to work on so I can do this part. Last night, I thought I better start with one of the more productive projects to really get my momentum going & then use one of the fun projects as more of a reward for my next go-around. So, I was thinking I should work on cleaning out the basement hall & setting up Amber's craft room. So, I started to brainstorm how to break it down into 21 parts & the main thing is to get it cleaned up. I predicted that each of the tasks I could think of (without actually looking down there) would only take up a week & the actual set-up after that would only take a day or two at most. So, I'm not sure if I want to just be less (hopeful? The word I'm looking for is eluding me... I think it starts w/an "A") and stretch it out, thus improving my odds of actually accomplishing it, or just pick one of the others.

So, I'm stuck at that point, but the last part of the Day One Challenge is to take the first part of the Mega Project & do it! So, yeah... now nap time's over & I have accomplished the laundry stuff I mentioned above & writing this post. I have some time tonight to work on it & also some grocery shopping. Yikes... trying not to get bogged down/overwhelmed. If anything, I'm still ahead of schedule, technically & I was productive today! Yay!!

EDIT: Update: So, I took my time with the shopping & checked out a bunch of clearance stuff. Made some good finds. Got all but one thing on my list, which I just plain forgot until I was way across the store from it & it's not something I need right away anyway. So, anyway, by the time I got home, my feet were killing me & I still can't make up my mind on my Mega Project. So, my plan is to tackle one of the smaller projects tomorrow/Wednesday & make up my mind about the Mega Project just in time to start it w/the "official" Challenge day on Thursday.
I have most of the day free tomorrow. Amber's at my mom's & I just have a dentist's appt late in the morning... SO not looking forward to that! I have bad gums in general & pregnancy makes them even more sensitive. Last time I got a cleaning while pregnant they ended up having to chemically cauterize them in a place or two because they were bleeding so badly. :( That was at a different dentist's office though & I wasn't thrilled with other aspects of the service, so I'm holding out hope that this time is different!
The only other thing on the agenda is... date night! ^_^ Since we'll have the whole evening to ourselves, we're going to go out to Logan's (with our BOGO coupon) and then go see Frankenweenie. :D
Wednesday is going to be a busy day. I see my OB, do the glucose test & get my next & (if all goes well) last sonogram. Then I have my therapy appt in the afternoon & then we get kiddo back just in time to go trick-or-treating!
Oh! That's what I forgot about while shopping... candy! I bought a bunch a week or so ago, but I keep eating it! [Probably also not helpful towards the dentist's appt tomorrow! :P ]
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bleh

I've become so... bleh, lately. I've lost more & more motivation & find myself doing less & suffering. I excuse myself a lot b/c of the pregnancy, but if we're going to be ready for this little boy in less than 3 months, I've gotta get my butt in gear. So, I am joining in this challenge & hoping it helps: Self-Discipline Challenge. I bought my $0.99 copy of the book, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by the blogger I follow at MoneySavingMom.com - NOTE: It'll only be that price through TOMORROW, then it'll be $4.99! So, if you're intrigued... check it out! Also, if you go to the blog there are links to other bloggers who're doing giveaways where you could win a free copy. I entered one. Not sure what I'll do now if I win. *shrug* At any rate, time to practice some discipline & go bathe my child. ;) G'night!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Giveaway

Aveeno products at this site: My Highest Self. Check it out! A real post from/about me/my business soon.. maybe... sometime. ;) Been busy being pregnant & chasing toddler(s) & whatnot. ;)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's a...

Boy! We had a blue cake on the night of the blue moon! :) His name's Kevin.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Turning 29 again & Sonogram!

I'm feeling good today!
Working backwards: I just finished a project! It's a gift, so I won't post much about it yet, but I should see the recipient & give it to her on Friday.

Before that, I made plans with a friend from college to take our kids to the zoo together to see the new baby tigers & go to a paint your own ceramics store sometime before my half-price voucher expires (Sept 22). :) I haven't seen her in a long time or met her twins, so I'm excited... plus, tigers are my favorite animals, so yay for baby tigers! :D

Earlier today, I took my car in for it's 30,000 mile tune-up & got the whole thing done for half-price! My hubby recently bought another Lancer from the same dealership we got mine from & there was an issue with them repeatedly cashing his post-dated check prematurely along with some other issue(s) I think, so they said they'd comp our next service visit. My car was overdue for this & we'd been putting it off because of how much it would cost, so we asked if we could use it on my car & they said we could! Granted, they only covered half, but that was a significant amount, so we're happy! :D

Yesterday, We went & got the sonogram to find out what the baby is! We don't know yet, but we will find out on Friday! We had the sonographer write it down & put it in two envelopes & mailed one to my best friend, who'll make either a pink or blue cake so we can find out when we cut into it at our baby "sprinkle" party. :D The other one we held onto as back-up because we know USPS is not infallible. ;)
BABY! :D


Monday, Amber started gymnastics again. We switched to Thursdays & I hope it's not as crazy then! It was pure mayhem & hot as a sauna in there & this pregnant mama had a hard time keeping up with nearly a dozen 2yos running around! Amber had a lot of fun, though & did very well, considering.

I also babysat (my usual charge) in the morning. We had a pretty good day. He took a nearly 2hr long nap for me!

Monday was my birthday. I turned thirty. I've been half-jokingly saying that I was turning 29 again. Through most of my twenties I had a hard time feeling very grown-up. I was in college much of that time & continued to work in academia until the summer after Amber was born. I felt like I did a lot of growing up, fast, when my dad died & I had to manage his estate & settle his divorce & all that. Plus, that was the same time Paul & I got married & then, a little over a year later, bought our house. All that & now having kids has made me feel more like an adult, but I was just coming to terms with being a twenty-something when that time was over & suddenly I'm in a whole new decade! Maybe by the time I'm 40 I'll be used to the idea of being in my thirties. ;) Oh well, it's not like I've thought of thirty as "old" or anything (at least, not since I was a kid)just a milestone I don't feel like I should have reached already. I guess part of it is that I'm not where I thought I'd be academically & career-wise. I always expected I'd get a doctorate or at least a master's degree & work in some suitably professional field related to my area of study... and here I'm a stay-at-home mom with a virtually unused bachelor's degree. *Shrug* I doubt I'd change anything significant if I got a do-over, but I am definitely not where I expected to be.
The big thing is, I am well aware that I could go back to school later & pursue those higher degrees, but I have no idea what direction I'd want to go in! I have too many interests & some of them would require moving away from where I am now, which I don't like the idea of being further away from family, or uprooting my kids. Or they're require specific education or experience I don't have. I could end up starting practically from scratch. That's not ideal either. The one thing that's the closest, most feasible in those things is pursuing a master's in art at the local state college. That would require getting more focused & organized with my art, so that I actually have a portfolio & deciding what I would DO with a master's in art. There's also the option of just getting more focused & organized with my art & making a name for myself as an artist, but I have barely begun to do that as a jewelry-maker & the business side of things is just NOT my forte! I wish I could just afford right off the bat to hire someone to do the marketing & book-keeping for me! I hate choosing prices (it's hard enough choosing to part with my creations, let alone trying to put a monetary value on them!) and I am not naturally organized. I don't keep track of time or costs very well when creating (whether it falls in the realm of "craft" or "art") and I hate talking myself up or coming up with things like artist's statements. A bio I can handle, but trying to make myself sound grand & inspiring... well... Yeah, not so much.

So, anyway. I didn't think I'd go into that whole rant, but I'm still in a good mood today... even though I promised myself I'd pick up all kiddo's toys so hubby could vacuum & I have done no such thing... There's time yet. ;)