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!