Thursday, February 25, 2010

JD's Room

After what seems like a very long break, I finally have a new room to show you. JD's room is done. It was interesting. He is a fairly neat kid so there wasn't a lot of mess, but there was a lot of outgrown toys, books, and clothes. Let me start with a shot I took of all the books leaving the room, and his book case now.

Then the closet. My mom was a huge help with this one. I took out clothes while she folded them and put them in a box. Once upon a time I had a pipe dream of the kids taking their dirty clothes to the laundry room every night. I gave that up. And now that I have removed the clubhouse the children had been setting up in there, he has plenty of room.

Here is the big before and after.

Several of his pieces of furniture are anchored to the walk. A product of his climbing days. Because of this I couldn't really rearrange the room. JD agreed to remove a lot of toys because he doesn't really play in his room, and that seems to have opened up the space.
I have one more picture to share. To help freshen up the puppy collection (all stuffed, I promise), I put them in a space bag and sucked all the air out of them. At first JD was worried, but once he saw them all smushed and vacuumed he started laughing and wanted me to do it again. They do smell a lot fresher. I just had to take a picture of them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I am trying to get motivated to clean a room upstairs, but it is just not happening. I think one of the reasons is that the children's rooms are up there and I'm not real excited about the potential for protests when I start pitching stuff. The other room I have to do is our everything room. It is an office/music/craft/storage/sewing room that sometimes doubles as a extra guestroom when we get the air mattress out. It is also the smallest bedroom in the house so you can imagine the cramped mess that awaits me. Maybe I'll start on JD's room. He actually keeps his room neat most of the time. Except for the rare occasion when he, as he puts it, swings around doing his monkey business.

In the mean time, for those family members who have not joined the Facebook cult, here is a picture of Rocky's very first (and hopefully last) wreck.

Today I am thankful that he is not hurt and for the flexibility of Georgia pine trees when they are still small. We are still waiting on the official damage report.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Easy Peezy

For my first room upstairs I picked something really easy, the guest room. Right now Rocky has it transformed into the sick cave because he has had a nasty cold. Normally it would look much better than the before shot seen here.

(note: the red and gold faux finish and fancy window valance came with the house)
There isn't a lot to this room. There is the bed, a couple of side tables, a rather ugly blue folding table, and an equally ugly but very comfortable blue chair in the corner that is unseen in this picture. Not a lot of thought went into this room when we moved in and not a lot has changed over the years. I got to thinking that the only way to really feel like this room had been redone was to move everything around.


The whole room is now reversed. I am loving the way it looks, but I guess I need to have some house guests to know if it is really working the way I want it to. See the pretty covered table? That is the ugly blue table covered with a quilt that was placed backside up. I added a couple of framed pictures to it to make it look like a real piece of furniture. I'd like to get another small lamp to match the one I already have to go on the other table. In the meantime I used 3 pretty candle holders I had laying around. Ideally, I would have also get a new comfy chair with a floor lamp for reading next to it, a new comforter set, and a small decorative trash can. Dave Ramsey says I can only have the trash can and not so much decorative as cheap.

Friday, February 05, 2010

After a Compromise

The coat closet is finally done. It is one of the smaller spaces I have done, but I needed the most help with it. I decided that the coat closet was indeed for coats, but that if an item could be stored against the wall and not block the path from the door to the coats then it could stay. To help me determine what this applied to I rolled out my rarely used yoga mat. If it didn't touch the mat, it could stay. I have a small storage box where instruction manuals can live, one folding table and it's chairs and two t.v. trays. On one side I installed a 6 peg coat rack (Lowes $10- thank you Ginny!). It holds hats, scarves, and an old shoe bag that no holds gloves and winter hats. It is similar to an idea I found in the book as well as the blog of the author ( From Messed to Blessed). I just did it with what I already had around the house.

I need to follow up on a couple of undone tasks and then the inside of my downstairs will be finished. I have to clean the inside of my microwave, shred one more stack of papers, and empty my tiny box before I can call it really done. I also decided that hanging the coats on the chairs was working but also the only thing that still looked a little messy. Thanks to my friend Michelle I found a really pretty hanging coat rack at Hobby Lobby on sale for $7. It is going to be hung next to the door to the garage.
I really can not believe it has been a full month since my first project. I've had house guests, a party, sick kids, and a sick husband, and the crazy thing is the house is still clean! I could go make pictures of every area right now and aside from the slightly scary looking unshaven man laying on the couch and the unmade bed, it is perfect.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Valentine's Day

I am taking a brief moment away from cleaning to explain why I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. Did you know that not only is Valentine the patron saint of love, but also of the plague? I'm not making this up. I googled it.
Not one time in my entire school age years did I ever have a boyfriend on Valentine's Day. When you add in all the people getting countless deliveries to school (a practice I am firmly against) with general teenage angst you get a special kind of depression that tends to color one's outlook. My senior year in high school was especially bad because we had a really bad ice storm and my family ended up having to take in a relative that was a chain smoking, foul, and generally nasty person. No one in the house even realized it was the 14th until a couple of days later when we got to go back to work and school and the relative had left.
I can not go into too much detail about some of the worst ones I have had because they fall under my 10 year rule. I refuse to hold on to any anger, bad feelings, or resentment past 10 years. I try not to at all, but 10 years was sort of my "it is silly to still carry this around" point.
The highlights from those years would be Rocky standing me up for the better part of our first Valentine's (completely unintentional), the year he forgot and dug a deeper hole trying to make it better, and the picnic year- freezing cold, chased by geese, and getting lost to name a few of the things that went wrong. It hasn't all been on him though. I've had some serious stomach troubles go on that killed the day. JD had strep for a month and the doctor kept trying to tell me it was a stomach bug. After throwing up his lunch yet again they finally called to tell me the long culture came back positive and called in a prescription that he turned out to be allergic to. That was the second worst one because my kid was so sick. The all time worst for us was the year I was pregnant with JD and had been put on bed rest because of food poisoning. I was hurting, afraid that my baby was going to be born too early, my mother was there helping out but my father couldn't come so they were apart. We really spread the misery around that year.
Last year we went to help Rocky's parents move. To be totally clear, I did not mind that even a little. I was happy we could help them. Goodness knows they have helped us enough over the years. The only mistake we made was in trying to go out to eat that night any way. Rocky's mom set us up with dinner reservations and they watched the kids for us, which was really thoughtful. Sadly, after a long day of moving we were both so exhausted that I could not even guess at what we ate that night or if it was good. We couldn't even keep a conversation going, and if you know Rocky and me then you know that talking is never a problem for us.
This year we are skipping it. We'll get the kids a little something and maybe a card, but that is it. No presents, no flowers, and most of all no plans. Our anniversary is only a month away. I'd much rather spend the time and money on a day with real meaning and happy memories.
On a side note, I am also displeased with how having reservations that night just means you have reserved the right to wait on a table and how flowers that usually cost $15 suddenly cost $150. Getting flowers is my favorite thing, but paying Valentine prices for them sucks all the joy out of it. How are these things romantic?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Just Before

Today I am home from work with two slightly sick kids. They both have colds. They are both almost well, but not well enough to go to school. I thought this would make for the perfect day to finish my last area that I planned on cleaning before moving this job upstairs, and that is the coat closet. However, before I have even started I am at a loss for what to do. Although it is a coat closet it is located under my stairs and is fairly deep. The rack for hanging coats is at the back leaving all this floor space to store things, but if you do store things there you can not get to where your coats are and as such, they never get put away. I know that this is going to either be a coat closet or a storage closet, but it can no longer be both. My question is, which one should it be? Either way I am faced with finding new and creative places to put whatever is left out.

Take a look at the before

It actually hasn't been that long since this closet was cleaned out. In fact, I think my mother cleared it out last year while she was here helping me as I recovered from surgery. I know the kids have coats in there they have outgrown and there is really no telling what is in that box back there. I'm going to start by taking literally everything out of the closet. Maybe then I will have a clearer picture of what can go back in.
I'm open to ideas and suggestions here. Should a coat closet be just for coats, or do we need to start keeping them in our own closets and let the vacuum and folding tables live in here? Maybe there is a happy middle I have not yet considered. What do you think?