Thursday, December 29, 2011

Details details.....

I have so much to share with you all!!  LOVE my job!!  Been busy with the house...and oh yeah a little thing like Christmas too!! 

Totally trying to navigate life again working full time. Thanks for all your well wishes on the job.   It's even better than I imagined.  I am hoping tonight I can put together a quick post. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  We sure did here!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I got the job!

Well, I should restate this- I was told I had the job a few weeks ago but they weren't sure when I would start.  Late last night I got a call saying that there were some changes in the department and when can I start?
So starting tomorrow, I am beginning my new job.  I will probably only work at my current job till next week and work the new job full time the week of December 19th.  Now I just have to tell my boss.  I was going to let him know this week that I would probably be leaving after the first of the year, just wasn't expecting to give such a short notice. 

But I am so excited.  Wish I had more time before I started to get things done around the house before the holidays, but I AM NOT COMPLAINING.  This is a government job with the county that is highly sought after and I just happened to get lucky.  I didn't tell anyone about it even after I was told I would be hired for fear of losing it.  So I am finally comfortable to tell people.  Jobs are hard to come by and I am more than grateful.  Hoping this is the start of a good 2012 for me!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Scary House

Halloween wasn't all about dressing up in scary costumes in our house.

Nope...we deciding having a scary house would be cool as well.

This is how my house started at the beginning of October.  I know, there are so many things wrong with this picture. 

And this is how we ended October right in time for Halloween.

There were no trick or treaters coming to our house on Halloween.  Not unless they could wield a hammer and nails.

I don't know what we were thinking when we decided to replace our roof and siding. Apparently we weren't.  So much went wrong with the roof.  First they found we had 2 layers of shingles instead of one.  The last roofer was sneaky and cut off all the shingles on the edges so it would look like only one layer.  Then our porch roof was so damaged that most of it was torn off and replaced.  Which also caused us to have to replace the old knob and tube wiring for the porch light.  That was actually nice cause I am having them install extra outlets for when we hang Xmas lights.

Then this happened-

That's the end of my driveway after the contractor put the pieces back.  His truck was hauling away the roof material and the hitch destroyed my blacktop.  It split in half like the Red Sea and was dragged out into the street.  He is replacing it in the spring, but I just couldn't take one more thing going wrong with this job.

So here is what our house looks like now.

Took this in the morning when there was frost on the roof.  It actually looks really nice.

The gutters, soffet and fascia are going up before Christmas- I think.  And the siding will be going up in spring.  I need a break from construction right now. 

Here are what my guys went as for Halloween-

My very own Pittsburgh Penguin hockey player, Sidney Crosby and his friend the nerd.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Posting shortly

Goodness- it's been over a month since my last post.  I have been lazy and busy at the same time! 
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!  I hope to post tomorrow with pictures of all the fun things going on here at Casa de Shaftic.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Laundry Area

In the midst of my closet cleaning and decluttering last week, I snuck in a quick cleaning of my laundry area.  I call it an area, because it's in my basement and well, it is an old home so I haven't really done much to try and fancy it up.

I didn't take before shots as I was so certain I had taken some already and now I can't seem to find them.  I probably thought about taking them when I was writing the post in my head (as I do all the time).  If I happen to find them I will update.  Just don't hold your breath!!

Several years ago when I was working for a large company, I scored a nice table when they decided to sell all the old items from our cafeteria before remodelling it.  I knew I wanted to put it in our basement to use when folding/sorting clothes.  Only problem is that I usually dump items on it (like yard sale/donation items) just like I do with my office.

It becomes so messy that I can't use it at all. 

So I cleared off all the junk and left just what needs to be on it.

I like to keep my cleaning rags on this table since there is no other place in the basement (or kitchen) to store them.  The little basket hold the small rags and the pile to the left of it are bigger towels used to wipe up larger messes.  I also have a few tshirts ready to be cut into cleaning rags.

The boxing gloves in the front left  hand corner sit there as well.  Paige wanted a heavy bag for Christmas, which we hung up in the basement.  Of course there was no where else to put the gloves but on this table. I still have room to set my baskets down or clothes as I fold them.

This kind of gives you some idea of my work area.  The washer and dryer sit on a large cement pedestal that was here when we bought it.  The previous owners were well ahead of their time!!  Only problem is that I have a top loading washer and have to step up on the slab to see into the drum.  But I do like it as sometimes we do get water in the basement and it protects them. 

If you look closely at the bottom left hand, you can see a small part of another cement box.  It's around 2 x 3 and I have no idea why it is there.  I joked to Jeff that they are storing bodies!!  I will have to take a different angled shot to show you how strange it is.

The leaning tower of junk beside the dryer used to be my "pantry" in my old house.  I only had a small area to put a storage tower to hold my canned goods.  It got demoted to the basement when we moved here and held all my cleaning items until I got the table.  It really needs to be cleaned out and moved out to the garage.

Our walls are poured concrete and in need of painting.  The green is not doing it for me and it does have some mildew growing in some areas.  In the foreground picture you can see my duvet cover hanging.  The one thing that I love about my basement are the 5 laundry lines that hang in the ceiling.  I can hang so much to dry.  And because our basement has duct work - the clothes dry nicely. 

So this is the place I spend so much of my time during the week.  It's not bad and I hope to make it a little more cheery.  Once the roof and siding get finished!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Going On?

Tons of things have been happening in the Shaftic household lately.  Jeff's been busy with Cross Country as it's season is winding down and the Varsity kids are preparing for WPIALs.  He's so busy with that and teaching school and we really haven't spent much time together these past few days.

Which also means that I've been trying to get everything done around here.  In addition to all the household chores, I have been trying to get some organizing done since the holidays are just around the corner.  I found my to do list from last year when I was on medical leave.  I may use it as a guide for this year since a lot of the items are routine cleaning jobs.

Speaking of jobs, I'm still only working 2 days a week.  But I'm ready to move on.  It's just not worth it for me.  I'm still waiting to here about a position that should be opening up in December.  The person is retiring and is suppose to put her retirement in soon.  I was told by the person in charge of the department that the position would be mine if I wanted it.  So I'm just waiting to see what happens.  Things don't always go as promised!!

Yesterday, I photographed a friend's wedding.  I didn't mind doing it, but am worried about how the photos came out.  She kept assuring me that she just wanted to have a couple nice photos and didn't expect me shoot pictures as if I was a professional.  It was ME that wanted to get her perfect pictures because it is her wedding day and you only get one shot.  It was a sunny day which was actually bad for me as some pictures were coming overexposed and try as I might, I could get the aperture to work with me.  I think that sometimes my camera needs to be turned on and off before it will let me dial up and down.  But hopefully I can us Picnik to help fix some problems.  Luckily, Jeff ran to Walgreen's and got me an extra memory card.  I took so many photos (hoping that one out of the many would come out good) and I would have run out with just my one card.  My battery did start to die at the end of the night so I was lucky with that.  I want to down load the photos today to see what I really got.  Pray that I at least got the focal point right on them!!!

Our roof is getting replaced this week or next depending on weather.  And Paige wants a sleep over birthday party Saturday.  Oh, and we haven't looked for Halloween costumes yet either. 

Like I said, it's busy at the Shaftic house!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Closet Progress

Although not completely done, I am happy to say that I did get a lot accomplished in my closet.  I did not get to my shelves- ran out of time and interest!  But I did go through all my clothes both hanging and in storage totes.

I was really amazed out how much I have.  Considering I do not shop for clothes for myself often, maybe a few times a year, I ended up with a couple bags for donation/consignment.  Either I keep a clothes for longer than normal, or I buy more than I think.  Probably a little of both.  Especially when some of the clothes I got rid of were purchases that shouldn't have been bought.  And some were gifts that while well meaning- just weren't my style, size, or poorly made.

All that is left in my closet are the clothes that I wore last fall/winter.  I went through my spring/summer clothes just as ruthless and stored the keepers away. 

It is really nice to see all the clothes that I know I will wear.  I need to purchase a few more tops and maybe some pants in colors other than black.  Haha.  The only color is my red jacket and purple sweater.

The floor makes me so happy.  I still have to work on the bags on the right.  Need to get a new safe deposit box and what you couldn't see from the before are the bags of photos way in the back.  I didn't even touch that side of the floor.  I knew I would waste too much time looking at pictures.  Saving that for another post!

Another thing I didn't get to is Paige's Communion dress.  It's still hanging on the door as it started to rain so hard right after I loaded the car with the bags and boxes for the Salvation Army.  At least the boxes are in my trunk ready to go.

I also went through my son's clothes and took out all the outgrown winter clothes from last year.  One tote I found was full of summer clothes that I was suppose to sell on eBay in May.  Ooops.  I thought it was full of Paige's winter clothes. Obviously, I didn't label them.  Duh!

I never stored Paige's winter clothes this year.  The sad part is that she apparently she doesn't have that much since I never noticed them this summer.  I'm afraid that when I put away her summer clothes, her closet and drawers will be bare! 

I also made a big decision to load up a large pile of boxes that were in my basement waiting for my yard sale (that never happened!).  There are several more boxes in the attic that need to go as well. I may put some stuff aside to sell on eBay since now is the best time for selling.  And I can use the cash!!

What truly amazes me is where does it all come from??  I don't shop much (can't imagine what my house would be like if I did).  And I'm always getting rid of stuff so how is it that there is always more to go?  Thinking back at what I pitched, I did notice that so much of it were gifts.  Birthday and Christmas items that none of us would use.  Like I said before, they are well meaning, but often I feel bad knowing that money was wasted on items that will not be enjoyed by us.  I try to tell everyone specific things for the kids (and that Jeff and I truly don't need gifts) but it never seems to work.  I don't want to hurt feelings, but it also makes no sense for people to keep wasting their money and time!

This year the kids just want money, gift cards, and itune cards for Christmas.  They are too picky for clothes as they like only certain clothes ie UnderArmour, Wet Seal, and Aeropostale to be specific. Clothes purchased from places that we do not shop at are not worn.  I know.  They are spoiled.  Luckily, they aren't shopaholics and are happy shopping in the fall and spring.  I couldn't afford it if they expected to shop all the time.  Haha- they probably wouldn't get to shop at their favorite stores if we did shop more often.

Since they are getting older and not as interested in toys, I think it will be easier to maintain order in their rooms.  It is sad though.  While I love the idea of less, it's also sad.  They are growing up.  Soon they will be moving out.  Ok...time to end this post before I start balling my eyes out. 

Hopefully tomorrow it will not be raining so I can unload my car and get the dress to the cleaners. It was raining all day today so I didn't stop before or after work.        Come on sun! Shine!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Closet

Our house is really great.  I've talked before about how much I love it and don't really care to move.  It's not perfect and there are a lot of things that frustrate me (like having no space to store shoes and coats on main floor).

But there are some nice features that you normally don't find in a house as old as ours.  One of those is the fact that we have 2 closets in our bedroom. They aren't huge walk ins, however, they are really spacious as compared to other homes of the same age.  We installed a closet organizer in Jeff's closet shortly after we moved in.  He really owns a ton more than me and it was nice to get his closet somewhat organized. I would like to replace it with something different, but it works for him right now.

My closet is just a rod and a couple of shelves above. I'm not a big shopper and so most of my summer and winter clothes will fit in this one closet. So does a lot of other junk!!

Full view of my closet- Jeff still needs to install the bamboo flooring in both closets.  It's
been almost 2 years since we did the floor- hahaha!

As you can see, I store a lot of my magazines on my shelf in the closet.  I need to go through them and get rid of most.  There are a good many that I do enjoy re-reading, but I think many got put there because of sheer laziness. My wedding album is in the big black box on the top shelf next to all my breast pump accessories.  I am just not sure what to do with my breast pump.  I haven't used it in 8 years, but it kind of grosses me out thinking that someone else would actually want to use it!  Any thoughts??

My floor was cleaned out earlier this year.  But then I began shoving things in it again.  The big white bag is all the things that used to be stored in our safe deposit.  I was suppose to get a new one at our credit union around 4 years ago.  Hmmmm....guess I can't complain about Jeff and those bamboo floors now can I?

I threw Paige's curtains in here as well when I started on her remodel -which is still at a standstill.  A bag of bags that I use when I need to bag things up for Goodwill or the consignment shop.  Extra hangers, my purse that is truly falling apart, our dvd player (no dresser or stand to store it for when we want to watch movies in our bedroom), and some 31 bags.  Oh and don't forget the free with purchase bear from PS Aeropostale from last year's Christmas online shopping for Paige. 

These are my summer/fall clothes.  Plus I keep my winter coats (far left) stored here.  I have a nice closet in my office (D$%# office!!) but I currently have all the coats that need to go to Goodwill/consignment shop taking up that precious space.  A few years ago, I purchased a huge supply of wooden hangers.  My hangers have to match.  In fact, my son has yellow ones, Paige has white ones, and Jeff and I have the wooden ones.  Though now I'm not loving them as much. 

These are my some of my most favorite books (non cleaning/organizing ones!).  I love Candace Bushnell and purchased her books in  hardback since I do re- read them a lot.  I used to be a fan of Kate Gosselin when she first was on tv, but then after the wedding vow renewal, I sort of stopped watching.  Now I'm not at all impressed with her and may actually sell/donate those books. 

The last thing about my closet is this dress.  It's Paige's First Holy Communion dress.  It's very similar to my wedding dress (minus the sheer jacket) and when she said it was the one she wanted I was thrilled!!

However, it's been hanging on this hook for about 4 years now.  I need to get it cleaned so I can box it up with her baptismal gown (which is probably in a pile of clothes in the attic!).  I'm just so afraid of it getting ruined.  So it's just hanging there collecting dust until I can get the courage to have it dry cleaned. 

Because I can easily shut the door, I tend to just ignore the mess.  But this morning, I decided it was time to really go through my clothes.  I took down all the containers so that I can pitch winter and summer things of mine.  I also need to see what winter clothes the kids have (or need) as well.  I may have some after pictures later today or tomorrow. 

Here I go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sometimes Laziness Works

I recycle just about everything I can.  I will even research online to find ways to recycle unusual items just so it doesn't have to go to the landfill. Which is one reason why my office  is always  a disaster.  I store these items here until I can figure out what to do with them.  I wish I wasn't like this.  I wish I could just throw broken items away and forget about them.  I blame it on an old PBS show I watched as a child.  It focused on how we needed to start recycling as our landfills were overflowing.  This was probably around the mid to late 70's before we had any recycling programs in our town.

When I went to college, the University of Pittsburgh was starting a recycling program and I was hooked.  I even brought things back to school just so I could recycle them!!  Paper was the biggest load.  I think it is one of the biggest problem most families have when it comes to clutter.  Several years ago I found out about Abitibi (though now it's called Paper Retriever) at a local college.  Since leaving college, I had no way of recycling paper other than burning them.  Yah, probably worse than just throwing them away!

A local high school obtained one of their containers and I was in Heaven!  I bought a cute plastic tub that would hold my paper until I could make a run.  Except, I would get lazy about it and my basket would runeth over.  And over......until somedays I would end up having to fill trash bags with the paper in order to get them to the bin.  I would still carry my nice plastic tub because it was easy to carry and I liked it. 

You can see the blue tub hiding under all the paper

And what does this have to do with laziness...... ;]   One day this summer after making one of my marathon runs to the bin, I left the tub on the kitchen floor near the back stairs. It sat there for weeks.  Luckily, I had my extra one already in the office collecting paper. 

Probably needs a little cleaning

Then it hit me one day.  This tub fits nicely here.  It also holds our flip flops and keeps the stairs relatively clear of shoes (at least the 3 leading up to the kitchen).  Wow! I found a nice solution to a very frustrating problem in my house. Too many shoes and no where to put them.  It may not be the perfect or long lasting solution, but it's been working great.  Plus, I think I will keep it here and store hats, gloves, and scarves in it as I also have no where to put those in the winter.  We don't have as many winter shoes and so it's not too much of a problem. 

Ignore the shoes to the right, I'm still trying to teach the family
to leave them on the stairs heading down to the basement.

That kind of organizing is the best.  It just naturally happened.  Now if that would only work for the rest of the house!

Friday, October 7, 2011

My D@?& Office

Seriously, I feel as though every other month I'm posting about my office. This room just screams "FILL ME UP WITH JUNK!!" every second of the day.

It's the first door my son Jeffrey Michael shuts when friends come over.  For those of you that don't know this about my son, he has issues about our house being clean.  So I am hoping that today he comes home from school and is thrilled with my morning work.

Things are just beyond crazy around here.  I thought that once everyone went back to school, I would accomplish a lot around the house.  Last time I had time off was after my surgery and I tried to do too much.  Not good.  Since I am only working 2 days a week and have no post surgery issues- I figured I conquer a lot. You know whip my house up to be perfect every day! Solve the world's problems!  I can do it all!

Well, I have been.  If you count watching Will and Grace most mornings from 9-11am.  Uggghhh Lifetime tv!
The funny thing is, I don't like watching tv.  But lately I've found myself watching a ton.  Not just in the mornings but at night too.  Big mistake putting a tv in my bedroom!  But it's been so nice snuggling in bed with Peanut.

After my last post, I was so touched by LSLW's comment. It made me stop and think. This is life.  My life.  My crazy busy lazy life. There are some things that need to change and some things I wouldn't change for anything. I have been taking the time the past few days to try and figure out what I am truly trying to accomplish.  Thanks for changing my attitude around LSLW!!

Back to the thorn in my life- my office.  I have to admit (and I'm sure I have in my many posts about this room) it's mostly my fault.  Take that back.  It's all my fault.  I have issues when it comes to getting rid of things.  It's not that I don't want to get rid of stuff, believe me I am forever getting rid of stuff.  But where I have a serious road block is on how to get rid of stuff.  I want to recycle everything.  And I pretty much do.  And by recycle I'm not just talking about normal items like paper, plastic, metal, but all those items that can be donated/sold/given away. 

It's the deciding on what or where is the best thing to do.  Should I give to the consignment shop?  Save for eBay? Or drop off at Goodwill?  Have a yard sale?  Some times it's easy to make the decision.  Other times I struggle and the pile sits and sits.  Like this pile in the corner.

The door doesn't open all the way normally due to a windowsill, but in this case it's all the junk!

Better shot of all the crap in the corner!
 Most of the items were toys that I had cleaned out months ago and had wanted to sell in a yard sale.  Yard sale never happened and now I'm hoping to get rid of these items on eBay at Christmas time.

Many of the bags in the above picture are of clothes that need to go to the consignment store or Goodwill.  That's just laziness on my part.  For one, I have boxes in the basement that are also full of items that were suppose to be for the yard sale.  I should gather them all and get bring them to Goodwill.  But then I keep thinking of all the good things that I could make money on.  But really- is it worth the time and aggravation?  Yes I could use the money, but how much would I really make? 

See those are the inner struggles I have when I am torn between two decisions.  This causes the piles to sit forever and then more piles grow around them.  Then there is the old  "just set it here" mentality.  Happened not even 2 minutes after I started working on the above pile.  I picked up 2 sets of chopsticks that I wanted to bring to the kitchen.  Because I hadn't set up any system - you know bags or boxes labelled throw away, put away give away- that most people do before they start decluttering, I just set them on top of the book shelf to deal with later. 

It dawned on me how that's what starts most of the problem with this room.  Things get dumped in here because I don't feel like deciding.  DUH!

So I went downstairs to the kitchen (with said chopsticks) to get me some bags and began to rethink my plan otherwise known as lack of plan.  Here is what I have ended up with after -

This is how far the door opens normally due to the windowsill. Sorry about the lighting.

Better shot of all that's gone

While there is still a pile in the corner, I have decided that these are items that I will try to sell on eBay next month.  I also have a huge pile of boxes that I have been saving for shipping.  Last year I didn't have any and it was a nightmare to get them especially with my 3 week driving limitation.

I also got a little extra done in front of the tall book shelf.



Most of what was in front of the tall bookshelf were pictures.  I found them after cleaning out the attic a few months back and wanted to hang some in the office.  I did hang up our engagement photo - see below in the top left corner.  But I'm not happy about the look.  All the frames are oak and just blend into the wall.  If I don't end up painting the panelling, I may paint the frames.

Here's a big shot of the newly organized corner-

Whatever doesn't sell on ebay is definitely going to Goodwill.  It's been sitting here for many months and it's not doing me any good!!  Here's hoping I make one little ten year old boy happy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In between

Life lately has been in between.

The weather is in between summer and fall.  Last week the high's were in the 40's and this week we are suppose to average 70's.  This does not help me with clothes. I can't put away the summer clothes and can't take out the winter clothes.

Paige's bedroom remodel is in between.  She's picked out her colors but I can't start painting until we get a lot of her stuff out of the room.  Plus I haven't found new furniture.  Or flooring.

Fall ball is in between.  We've had so many games cancel due to the rain and cold.  While we should be winding down the season, we're actually just beginning.

Cross country is in between.  Junior High and JV is finishing up their season, but Varsity is just gearing up for the WPIALS.  Plus we need to start planning for the banquet.

Cheerleading is in between.  Football is over, but they still practice as they have to learn cheers for basketball season which starts right after Christmas break.

Paige's birthday is in between.  Though her birthday was last Thursday, we still haven't had a family party or her friend party.  Blame above cross country, football, and baseball.

Cleaning and organizing is in between.  I have been working on trying to follow some magical system that will let me live the Jeff Lewis life (yes, there is a gay man trapped in body), I just can't figure it out!  Most areas are almost were I want them to be as far as organized and cleaning them is a breeze and then others (they will remain nameless) mock me everyday.  Lord knows I'm tired of blogging about that room!

I'm in between blogging.  Every day I think of things to post, but yet sometimes it just feels like such a hassle.  I love reading blogs and wish mine was like so many others.  I want people to come here to read and be inspired - or just get a good laugh.  But is that egocentric of me.  Who cares about a girl from Western PA and what I do on a daily basis?
Life is just in between for me.  I feel stuck with every aspect of my life.  Sometimes I get two steps ahead and the fall ten steps behind.  I think it's time for me to make a list.  I love lists and making them helps me to work through times like this when I just feel like a gerbil running wild.

Oh, and I've been asked to take pictures of a friend's wedding.  I.AM.SCARED.TO.DEATH.  They are desparate as they do not have enough money for a professional and they totally understand that I'VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE.  Can you tell I'm anxious?  Ugghhh.  I couldn't say no cause I'm the only one they know with a good camera and would have to rely on guests point and shoot photos.  I'm such a glutton for punishment.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy 13th!

Happy Birthday Paige!  Today you turn 13 and I can't believe how fast time has gone. 

You are turning into such a beautiful young lady.  Daddy and I are amazed at how well you've adapted to Junior High School - even if you don't like daddy to say hi to you in the hallways!  As expected, you've become so involved in school activities and we really commend you on you ability to juggle everything.  Remember, don't try to do to much!  Have fun and enjoy school!

It's hard to believe you are now a teenager.  Things are changing so quickly for you and I just want you to know that we are here for you.  We love you and will do anything to help you- even if it's just to listen.  You are an amazing young girl and we look forward to you becoming an even more amazing young woman!

PS- Even your brother loves you!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's going on?

A lot.

We've been so busy with back to school, Cross Country, Fall Ball, and Cheerleading.  While I've been reading other's posts, I just haven't taken any time to post.

Here are some things going on....

Paige's Room Remodel

I have been real slow with this project.  For one, I just don't have the cash for her furniture now.  I have been scouring Craigslist to see if I can find a vanity that I can paint for her.  I did prime her walls and found 4 colors that she really likes but is trying to decide which one to choose.  I used Kilz Clean Start primer and at first I wasn't sure about it.  I thought maybe it would be too thin and not cover her walls, but surprisingly, it did a good job.  I just wanted to tone down the purple so that when I put some test colors up, it would give the truest color.  Jeff started patching the hole in her wall, but still has to do some mudding. 


This is just all consuming.  Paige is cheering for the 7th grade football team and running cross country.  Jeff of course, is the cross country coach.  And Jeffrey Michael is playing fall baseball.  So between practices, meets, and games, there is little time left.


Right now I'm trying to just get into a schedule now that they are all back to school and  I have three days with no one at home.  I am trying to get more clutter out of the house and organize.  I haven't tackled any big projects yet, just little clean outs that I am taking to GoodWill.  Today, I even put together a small bag of pet items and old fabric that I dropped off at the Humane Society. 

I have been reading a lot.  I just read A Place of Yes  by Bethanny Frankel.  I really like her. Probably because we share a lot in common with our childhoods.  I also just read Sink Reflections by Marla Ciley.  Of course I couldn't go without reading an organizing book.  Right now I am reading Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  I read her book Simple Abundance ( actually I think I own it- yup I just turned and saw it on my bookshelf).  In this book she talks about financial security after she lost all her money earned from said book.  It's actually quite interesting.

Hopefully, I am going to get into a groove again and get back to cleaning out this house.  Slowly, but surely I am going to get back into a nice routine.  I love summer and this summer was especially wonderful since I didn't work a lot and got to spend a lot of time with my family.  But it is really nice to get everyone back on a routine.  And it sure is nice to have some alone time for me!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paige's Room - Part 2

We just got back on Tuesday from our Tour de Pittsburgh.  We hit a lot of places in Pittsburgh in too short of time.  In three days we visited The Strip District, The Rivers Casino, Kennywood, Sand Castle and went to a Pirates game.  You'd never know we only live an hour north!!

But I wanted to get back on track with Paige's room.  I figured some before photos would be helpful and since she's in the shower, I ran and took some shots of her bedroom.  Sorry that they aren't the best.  I stuck my camera on auto and shot away before she got done.  She would not be thrilled to know her room was on my blog.  Anyone with a moody 12.5 year old going on 40 will know what I'm talking about.

Currently her room is purple and green.  Purple was always her favorite color and since I had received my mom's spare bedroom furniture when she moved to Florida in 2004, it just worked great to keep green as an accent color.

Paige's room is the first room you see when you come to the top of my second floor.  Normally her door is shut so it's never a problem when it's a disaster.  And normally it's a disaster!  But I had her clean it before we left and her friend's are coming over in a few hours to go to the Lawrence County Fair and she ridded it up a bit.  If you look closely on top of her dresser you will see some dishes.  DRIVES.ME.NUTS.

Yes the one curtain rod is falling down.  The existing nail hole is just too worn out and I've never taken the time to fill it with putty.  I promise it will get fixed when we do her curtains.

This is the view to the left of her door way.  Her closet door does not close all the way.  Very common problem in old houses, but we're good at fixing that.  Just never gotten to the curtain rod.

Yes- that is her gerbil.  The same one from Easter years ago!!!

This is the view looking into the hallway.  Her walls are pretty banged up.  When I removed the wallpaper, I really didn't do a good job of sanding any rough areas.  Plus Paige used to have tons of posters on her walls and so they are chipped from tape.  She wouldn't use poster putty.  Also if you look real close between the two doors, below the light switch is a hole in her plaster.  We're guessing it's from all the door slamming she's done in the 8 years we've lived here.  It just fell off a few weeks ago and so we have to rip out the plaster and fix it with drywall.  Again you can see MORE DISHES!!!!

This is the only wall that will accommodate her bed.  We've had it in front of the two front windows, but it makes me nervous.   The green armoire doesn't hold anything except stuffed animals.  It does have two drawers with shirts and shorts, but we are not replacing it.  I think we will either put in a closet organizer or use under bed storage as her dressers really don't hold much clothes.  To me they just take up a lot of space to store items that can be put somewhere else.

This is a view from the door way of the other wall.  That long dresser has 3 drawers that hold her underwear, socks, pajamas, and sweat shirts.  I'm thinking of getting 2 side tables for her bed to store undies and pajamas and again use closet organizer or under bed storage for sweat suits.

 Paige loves the color green now.  At Christmas time, I found this quilt at Homegoods and it's the inspiration for her new room.  Luckily, she loves it too.  She had said she wanted to redo her room in blue and green and I thought this was perfect.  I want her room to have a grown up feel. 

She picked out furniture that she saw in the PB Teen catalog.  She only wants a vanity and a new desk.  I can't afford PB Teen and I think I should be able to find what she wants cheaper at other stores.  I just purchased her desk 2 years ago and I am probably just going to paint it white as that's the color she wants her new furniture.  Once we pick out colors for her walls, I can get started.  I would like to be done within the next few weeks (furniture and new bed not included).  And she's real excited too!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Getaway

Tomorrow we taking the kids on a little getaway to Kennywood, Sand Castle, The Pittsburgh Zoo, and a Pirates game. Yup, we're trying to squeeze all this in from Sunday to Tuesday. 

Yah, we're nuts.  Look out Pittsburgh here we come!  They may need to drop me off at Primanti's or the North Shore Deli for some sanity filling sangwhiches while I get my Pittsburgh on! 

Hope yinz have a fun filled weekend...  (my mother is probably yelling at me now...she dispised the word yinz!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Paige's Bedroom Remodel- Part 1

Can you spot the 10lb Chihuahua?

This is not Paige's room.  This is my room with some of the things that she wants to get rid of.  Poor Peanut is barely visible!

We've been talking about re-doing Paige's room for some time.  She has hand me down furniture that is just not functional and her poor mattress was a quick buy for less than $100 at Big Lots.  I've been secretly going in her room and cleaning out some things but it was so hard not to just go through everything.  She would have been so upset if I did that and it would not have been fair to her either.

So I gave her an ultimatum.  Clean out your closet and drawers and then we can re-do your room.  I told her that Thursday night.  By Sunday, she finally got to work.  And she worked really hard.  She took some breaks here and there, but cleaned out most of her clothes drawers and her closet.  She just has her desk drawers and a couple cupboards to go through and she will be done. The best part is that she really cleaned out all of her toys!! And she cleared out a lot of books.  I know some other little girl is going to be blessed with all of this.

I have no before or during shots because we technically are not allowed in her room.  She wants to surprise us when she's all done and show us each drawer and cupboard.  I have been sneaking in and checking things out though!!

We've picked out furniture.  Well, she chose furniture she liked from PB Teen, but I can't afford that so I am going to be on the look out for furniture similar to what she wants.  Mainly, she wants a vanity.  And a new desk but we just bought hers a couple years ago and if I paint it white, it'll match what she wants.  Her color palette is teal and green from a quilt I bought her for Christmas.  I think it's going to look so pretty, but most importantly is the fact that she's getting rid of a lot of things that should have gone years ago.

Now to get things listed on eBay and/or tagged for a yard sale! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

All over the place

Sunday I went up to the attic with the intention of locating Jeff's school records.  But of course the main living area was a disaster from Paige having a sleep over.  She said she would clean it up....well, we know how that ends!

Because I couldn't stand the way the living area was, I had to clean it up.  Which also led me to go through some of the containers of toys that have been collecting dust.  As I put away the stray toys, I ended up going through Jeff Michael's container of Knex and Legos.  Big mistake.  That took me forever to go through because I did not realize how similar those are.  But I did find most of the pieces to put his Star Wars Lego sets together.  Amazingly, the only piece I am missing is one of the Storm Troopers heads. 

Then I decided that I had to clean out the bottom of Jeff's closet.  More stray pieces of toys that had to be returned to the right place led me to the office.  I cleaned out the other side of the office and have toys ready for either ebay or a yard sale.

Long story short, I eventually got back to the task at hand which was locating all his school records.  I now have a 10 gallon tote filled with his papers from Pre-school to 3rd grade.  I was able to get his height and weight information for his doctor's visit and also put Paige's papers in a pile to be organized as well.  I think I may have saved too many papers to be neatly stored in binders or even lidded boxes (unless I stick with the totes).  Luckily, as evident from Paige's 5th and 6th grade papers, there are WAY less things.  I guess as they get older, they make less cute artwork.  Most of Paige's 6th grade papers are essays she's written.  I'm thinking by the time she's in 12th grade it will be even less. 

As far as Jeff's appointment, it went well.  They want to rule out some hormonal and/or other physiological problems that could be affecting his growth.  Unfortunately that required more blood work.  Like 7 tubes of blood!  But he did awesome and did not complain at all.  We are changing his diet so that he is consuming less sugar as the doctor thinks he's using sugar to fuel up and not eating.  I totally agree.  He listened to her and is not giving us much trouble about cutting back on sugary drinks and eating more protein and vegis.  I am hoping this will help him gain some weight too. 

His doctor isn't rushing anything at this point.  She was really great and explained a lot of options to us.  We are hoping that his growth hormones are normal and that he will not need to have to take any.  He goes back to see her in a few weeks once his lab work is done.  She should have a better understanding if there is anything physiologically preventing him from growing.  But she also said that he just may have his growth spurt later, there is no way of knowing. 

So at least I was able to get his school papers organized in one spot.  And I did get some other organizing to do's done! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

More Unexpected Organizing- School Papers

I am working on another unexpected organizing project- school papers.  It has nothing to do with school starting next month.  Or the fact that I totally procrastinated on making any sort of attempt at keeping the kids papers in order.  No it all has to do with a certain little boy who remains below the fifth percentile in height.  This cute little guy....

The next picture may help explain things a little more.  The boy to the left of Jeffrey is 2 days older than him.  His mother and I are good friends and grew up together.  We had the same oby and it was cool that the boys were in the nursery together!  The little boy to the right of Jeffrey is actually 6 weeks YOUNGER than Jeff. He doesn't turn 10 until mid August. He is really big for his age whereas the boy on the left is average.  So when I took Jeff for his annual check up, we decided to get a bone x-ray again to see what his bone age is compared to his age.  We've been doing this periodically since he was 5 and up till now it's just been a wait and see if he has a growth spurt since his bone age has been 3 yrs behind his true age.

We have been asked to have him be seen by an endocrinologist to make sure there is no other underlying reason for him being so small.  We never expected our children to be super tall as Jeff and are short ourselves, but we do want to make sure he will be a decent height.  And now the doctors feel it's time to move to the next phase of checking his hormones.

So what does this have to do with school papers?  

Well, the endocrinologist wants all his medical records, important baby milestones (when he talked, walked, potty trained) and school records of height and weight.  That requires report cards.  Which requires me to find his school papers.  Which requires me to search the dozen areas that I've been stashing their papers. 

Pre school and Kindergarten at the Christian school were easy to find because I dumped them in a drawer in the attic dresser.  Bad thing about it was that I thought it would be safe to keep a lot of the hand made items - you know pasta necklaces and cheerio art- since it was in the attic in a drawer.  Except that bugs found their way to said drawer and ate away at his masterpieces.  And there were some new family members that set up their home there in the cotton ball Santa crafts.  YUCK!  It was reminiscent of The Bearded Iris recent post on a delicious protein packed rice recipe.  YUM!  Except she took photos and I just carefully dumped them in the trash hoping my husband wouldn't see.

This made me realize that I need to go through all their papers and organize them better.  And since his doctor's appointment is on Wednesday, I will need to do this fast!   

I haven't decided how I want to store them.  Some bloggers put their kid's papers in hanging file boxes  and some keep them in lidded boxes.  I like both ideas.  Another thing is to make books of their artwork.  I did that with Paige's Kindergarten artwork when Oprah was giving away free photo books.  It turned out ok.  I didn't do a good job taking pictures of her items and some things got cropped funny on the pages.  So I may try that again.

Hopefully, at least I will gather everything into one area and weed out all the papers that really don't need to be saved.  So like my office desk, I am off to start working on organizing something that's long overdue but now I'm forced eager to tackle!  If anyone has any cool ideas for storing these wonderful papers that I'm sure I'll be the only one glad I saved, please leave comment and link to your site!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What have we been up too

Baseball and softball.

Jeff bunted a lot as a lefty hitter and fast runner

I still can't tell how Paige could see with her helmet

Both my kids love playing and we really enjoy going to the games.  Not much gets done from May to July in our house, but we spend so much time with friends it's all worth it.  We don't do travel ball although Paige is thinking of joining a fast pitch league that does some local travel- nothing that would require over night stays or anything like that.  Some of our friends do have kids on travel ball and financially we could never do it. 

Things have winded down now and we will have a break until fall ball starts. My son does not want to play football which is ok by us.  And this year Paige made the 7th grade cheerleading squad so her games are during the week and shouldn't interfere with their ball games.

So even though I've been working part time for the past 2 months, most of my days and nights have been hanging out with my family.  I miss blogging and my house is suffering the most, but it was time more than well spent.

And speaking of baseball-- what the heck call was that for the Pirates?  I've seen some bad calls at my kid's games, but seriously Blue.  The Pirates have finally come around after the past 18-19yrs of losing season's and bad management.  Too lose in 19 innings on a call that was clearly wrong is just a shame.  What a way to lose.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Office Desk

This is a long overdue post, well, any post I write now is long overdue.  We just won the All Star Championship game last night and as you can imagine we've been busy with practices and games. 

But back to the worse room in our house.  My office.  I've probably written more posts about this room than any other room in the house.  I clean it and then destroy it almost immediately.  It's just that room in our house where we throw things to deal with later.  Except later rarely comes. 

Luckily, when we purchased our new computer weeks ago, Jeff had to remove all the clutter on the desk top to undo cords.  That allowed me to see how nice the desk is with out all the junk.

Total view of desktop

As you can tell by my monitor, I was reading Flylady emails

Closeups of desktops- little room for anything- haha see my spring cleaning check list- still not done!

Bulletin board- oh by the way the before picture was taken in March!!!

It's pretty easy to see that there was no room for anything on the desk.  You could barely move the mouse around let alone write something on a scrap of paper.

Cleaning off the top of the desk was easy since the whole right side was bare thanks to Jeff.  I just had to remove all the crap from the left.  Including the purple bin which contained all the extra Christmas photo cards from the past 4 years and junk that I would just throw in there - again to deal with later.  Sensing a theme in my life.  PROCRASTINATION.

I did not replace anything except what was truly needed. A pen holder and a pad of paper.  I wanted to take off the glass top and clean it but it weighs a ton and Jeff was no where to be found.  Next time he's around it won't take much to clear all the stuff off and take it off.  Well, I always say that but it's never as easy as I think something's going to be!

Now it's so easy to work at the computer.  And relaxing.

Bulletin board actually has more on it and after shot was taken in June

Now we can move the mouse around so much easier

Nice clean work space

Now to save up money for a new chair

The rest of the office is a wreck.  My file cabinet has stayed clean and hopefully the desk will too.  My goal this week is to gather all our junk and have a yard sale this weekend.  I don't think we have anything going on.  Famous last words!!